Advocacy at Venice Family Clinic

February 13, 2024

When people think of community health centers, they think of direct services provided to patients. But Venice Family Clinic also engages in political advocacy. Fighting for health equity, securing funding for each element of our comprehensive care model and empowering patients to represent themselves from the halls of the State Legislature and Congress to the ballot box drives our advocacy work.

Health Equity

A community can only truly thrive if everyone in that community is healthy. Unfortunately, the needs and priorities of our patients are often unrepresented in the halls of power. The Clinic engages elected leaders from city, state and federal offices to ensure that our expert patient and staff voices inform the policies that shape the work we do every day. We raise our voices to push toward a future where everyone has access to high quality health care regardless of their income, insurance or immigration status.

Funding our work

In addition to our generous donors and community of supporters, the Clinic receives reimbursements from Medi-Cal and has several significant grants from government sources. Federal, state and local policies affect the quality and quantity of these funding streams. For the Clinic to be able to deliver on our mission to provide quality health care to people in need, and to reach as many people as possible, we need the right kind of policies in place. Our advocacy team – in partnership with coalitions like the California Primary Care Association (CPCA) and the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) – keeps track of potential laws, ballot initiatives and policy conversations to support ones that bolster our ability to deliver on our mission or fight against ones that could harm it.

Patient and community empowerment

Democracy works when everyone participates. The Clinic includes patient voices in all our advocacy work, making sure patients can represent themselves and their needs. Our Clinic board is comprised of (51%) patients. Patient Board Members attend internal public policy meetings, lending a patient perspective to the decisions the Clinic makes to support or fight against local, state and federal policies and laws. These board members also share their own stories with leaders in government to show the Clinic’s impact on our communities. Patient board members often travel to meetings with legislators around Los Angeles and even go to Sacramento and Washington D.C. to make sure people in leadership understand how changes to health care policy will impact real patients.

In the lead-up to elections, the Clinic also focuses on patient voter-readiness. We often have volunteers at outreach events and in our waiting rooms helping patients make sure they are registered and ready to vote. This is one more way we can make sure that as many patient voices as possible are heard by our elected officials.


We urge you, our community, to participate, too, by voting in the upcoming primary election. Remember, you can vote-by-mail OR vote in-person, but you cannot do both.

Register to vote if you are not registered.

– If you are registered, make sure your voter registration is updated to reflect your current address and party affiliation.

– Vote early in-person from Monday, February 5 to Monday, March 4 at the closest vote center to you

– Vote by mail. All registered voters in LA County will receive a ballot the address at which they are registered on or before February 5. Voters who update their registration by the February 20 deadline will receive a ballot at their most recent address. To vote by mail, drop off your ballot at any Ballot Drop Box location by March 5 or mail in your ballot (no postage necessary). Make sure your ballot is postmarked by March 5.

– Vote on Election Day, Tuesday, March 5 at the closest vote center to you.