An Assembly Member, or AM, is a politician who represents people in Wales.
Each AM represents people from a particular part of the country. These areas are called constituencies. Some AMs represent larger areas which are called regions and are made up of several constituencies put together. The people who live in these areas are called their constituents.
AMs hold regular meetings, known as surgeries, where their constituents can talk to them about their concerns or any problems they are having. Constituents can also get in touch with their AM by writing to them or contacting them at their office.
When an AM is not in his/her constituency or region, they are in Cardiff at the National Assembly for Wales. Here, they can tell the Welsh Government about the issues that are affecting their constituents.
In the National Assembly for Wales, AMs take part in debates and vote on whether new laws should be made.
AMs also help to make sure the Welsh Government is doing its job properly by scrutinising it and asking questions.
Constituents get to decide who their AMs are by voting at elections.
AMs usually represent a political party. However, this is not always the case. Those who don’t represent a political party are called independent AMs.
Anyone can stand for election as an AM as long as they are at least 18 years old and are registered to vote.