The California Senior Legislature was established to help preserve and enhance the quality of life for older Californians and their families.
The California Senior Legislature (CSL) is a volunteer body whose primary mission is to gather ideas for legislation at the state and federal levels, craft the ideas into formal proposals, prioritize the proposals, present them to members of the Legislature or the Congress, and advocate for laws implementing the ideas.
The CSL was founded largely through the efforts of Senator Henry Mello, who, in 1980, requested , through ACR 129, that the California Commission on Aging call a session of the Silver Haired Legislature. In 1982, this became the California Senior Legislature and became an annual event.
The work is accomplished in an annual cycle of activity where the focus in on a four day model legislative session held at the State Capitol in Sacramento during October. Following the session, the top ten state proposals and the top four federal proposals are taken to state legislators or members of congress who are asked to author and carry appropriate bills in the Legislature or Congress.
The forty Senior Senators and eighty Senior Assembly Members are selected in elections supervised by the Commission on Aging in each Area Agency on Aging Planning and Service area which were established by the Older Americans Act of 1965. The elections are in May of even numbered years, not divisible by four so that the terms of office are four years.