By Laura Rose
I sat down recently with Julie Pelegrin, assistant director of Colorado’s Office of Legislative Legal Services, to talk about OLLS’s blog, LegiSource.
This blog, authored by Julie and others on the OLLS staff, features weekly blog posts that range from “inside baseball” (Do-overs in the Legislative Process) to history (Old Supreme Court Windows Honor Ethnic and Racial Group History in Colorado) to fun facts (“Why Don’t We Fix the Radiator?”: How a Broken Appliance Led to a Dazzling Restoration at the Colorado Capitol).
The inspiration for LegiSource was to increase communications with legislators, especially during the interim. The OLLS staff decided against a newsletter—so 20th century—and opted for an online tool that could be more flexible, responsive and current.
And so LegiSource was born.
Although the blog is universally accessible, LegiSource’s primary audience is Colorado’s legislators. This results in the blog’s emphasis on legislative topics of interest to legislators, such as recent judicial opinions; information about state government operations; and the history of the legislature and the state capitol.
The blog also includes posts on topics legislators need to know about, like legislative rules and procedures, especially deadlines; constitutional requirements that directly affect the General Assembly and legislation; and ethics.
Almost half of OLLS’s staff contributes to the blog, and a volunteer editorial board recruits contributors and reviews the articles before they are posted. There were 44 articles posted from July 2015-May 2016.
The OLLS staff is finding the blog to be a useful and fun outreach method to reach and teach their state legislators. If your legislature hasn’t tried this yet—start blogging!
Laura Rose is a group director in NCSL's Legislative Management program.