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Advocacy 101


State Senator _, or. State Assembly Member ... http://thomas/ ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Advocacy 101

Advocacy 101
  • By

    Marie. S. Torres, PhD.

    Sr. Vice President Government
    and Community Research Initiatives
  • Ángel G. Obregón, JD, PHR

    Assistant Vice President Government Relations

  • What is nonprofit advocacy?
  • What is public policy?
  • What do you want?
  • Who do you contact?
  • Who do you speak with?
  • Advocacy Actions

What is "nonprofit advocacy"?
  • (Type Your Organization) engages in advocacy
    whenever we work to change public policy. 
  • Advocacy activities such as lobbying, community
    organizing, working with the media, educating
    voters, researching and reporting on problems
    facing communities, conducting voter registration
    and get-out-the-vote campaigns, protesting in the
    streets, and other actions.

What is public policy advocacy?
  • (Type Your Organization) has a unique and
    essential role to play in the policy process. 
  • As a nonprofit, (Type Your Organization)
    traditionally serves constituencies, (our
    patients, participants and clients) and others on
    issues that may have a limited voice in the
    policy process. 
  • (Type Your Organization), as a nonprofit
    organization, provides information on health and
    social needs that exist and need to be to
    addressed by legislators.

What is public policy advocacy?
  • (Type Your Organizations) advocacy efforts are
    driven by our mission statement and core values,
    which is a commitment to a broad community of
    people or common interests. 
  • This essential representative role, unique
    knowledge, and clear vision are the reasons that
    policymakers look to (Type Your Organization) for

What Do You Want?
  • Before deciding to call, write, or visit your
    member of the City Council, Board of Supervisors,
    California Legislature or United States Congress
    to share your views on policy issues you care
    about, you should know what you want from your
    elected representatives.
  • Your goal is to force someone in the legislative
    office to think about you and your issues for
    longer than 5 minutes -- making the "ask" helps
    you achieve that goal.

Whom Do You Contact?
  • Federal Issue - Immigration, Social Security,
    Medicare and Medicaid
  • U.S. Senators
  • U.S. Congress Member
  • State Issue - Education, Medi-Cal, Housing
  • State Senator _____, or
  • State Assembly Member
  • Local Issue - Street repair, lighting, noise
    abatement, housing ordinance, transportation
  • County Supervisor _______
  • Mayor ________
  • Council Member ________

With Whom Do You Speak?
  • The District/State Scheduler schedules the
    members time when he or she is in the district
    or state.
  • The Field Representative handles local policy
    issues and is the principal liaison between the
    elected officials and local businesses,
    organizations, and citizens.
  • The District/State Office Director oversees the
    operations of the district or state staff and is
    often the point person in the district office for
    highly sensitive local political issues.

With Whom Do You Speak?
  • The Legislative Director (LD) handles policy
    issues and oversees the legislative staff.
  • The Chief of Staff (CoS) The chief of staff may
    sometimes handle a few policy issues, but
    generally his or her time is spent managing the
  • County/City Council Deputies often are assigned
    to handles health, senior and transportation

Figuring Out What You Want
  • To make sure you're asking for something that
    makes sense, you need to gain a working
    understanding of what a legislative office can
    and cannot do for you, as well as an
    understanding of the policies that interest you.

Advocacy Actions
  • Recommending legislation
  • Letter writing
  • Face-to-face meetings
  • Testimony
  • Follow up

Advocacy Actions
  • You may ask your legislator to introduce
    legislation to change an existing and/or create a
    new one.
  • You may ask your legislator to cosponsor existing
    legislation introduced by another legislator.

  • You may ask your legislator to vote for or
    against legislation being considered by the
    committee he or she serves on.
  • You may ask your legislator to ask another
    legislator to support a proposal that is under
    review by another committee.

Letter Writing
  • Send a letter to a state or federal agency about
    a concern you may have with a particular agency
  • Send a letter in support of a a state or federal
    grant application you have made.
  • Send a letter to an influential member of the
    Legislature or Congress, such as a Committee
    chair or a member of the leadership, about a
    particular issue you may care about.

Face To Face Meeting
  • Call your Representative's District office and
    ask to speak with a staff member who is
    responsible for the issue you are concerned
  • Request a meeting between you and the staff
    member or legislator to discuss your concerns and
    recommended actions.

  • Prepare remarks based upon your experience which
    are relevant to the issue or proposal.
  • Your testimony can be given in person during a
    formal hearing, or only in writing, or both to
    all members of the legislative committee.

Follow Up Action
  • Place a phone call, email, fax to the City
    Council Office, Supervisor Office, District
    Office, and/or to the Capitol Office in
    Sacramento or Washington, D.C.
  • If your issue has successfully passed out of the
    Legislature, then you must follow up using the
    same advocacy actions with the Office of the
    Governor or President of the United States. A
    County or City Council ordinance is enacted
    unless the jurisdiction has an elected Mayor.

Valuable Links
  • Other Resources
  • Find my State Assembly Representative
  • Find my Congress Representative
  • Links
  • Links
  • http//
  • http//thomas/

The End
  • The End