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Advocacy 101 Sarah D

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Many people are intimidated and are unsure about what to expect when ... Contributor: Bobby Silverstein, Esq. Principal. Powers, Pyles, Sutter & Verville, PC ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Advocacy 101 Sarah D


1
Advocacy 101Sarah DOrsieDirector of Government
AffairsBrain Injury Association of America
  • Increase your confidence and effectiveness when
    advocating for yourself or other members of the
    brain injury community!

2
Many people are intimidated and are unsure about
what to expect when participating in a policy
meeting with lawmakers.
  • Follow these tips, prepare, and remember,
    lawmakers exist to represent the interests of
    their constituency in the most accurate way
    possible.

3
Understand your audience and the historical
context of your issue.
  • Research the legislator youre meeting with.
  • Understand the law and its strengths and
    weaknesses.
  • Explain what is wrong with the law.
  • Reference prior history of the lawmaker with the
    issue or like issues.

4
Be prepared to articulate policy goals in a
limited amount of time.
  • Prepare to state the most important aspects of
    your issue within 10 minutes, anything further is
    a bonus!
  • Mention your hook early, ex. Insurance coverage
    of rehabilitation is needed for people with brain
    injury so that they can once again become
    independent (not dependent on long-term care),
    saving the government money.

5
Avoid common pitfalls in addressing lawmakers.
  • Stay focused, discuss one topic at a time.
  • Be prepared to ask the legislator to do something
    that would advance your cause, but also something
    thats realistic and easy for them to accomplish.
  • Keep personal stories short and make sure that
    they demonstrate a positive impact .

6
Understand that supporting policy change is not
always cut and dry.
  • Public policy is proposed, debated, modified and
    adopted in a political environment.
  • "Tools of the trade" include use of
  • Power
  • Self-Interest
  • Politics
  • Compromise of Positions, Not Principles

7
Understand the needs of policymakers and their
staff.
  • Policymakers
  • Self-Interest (re-election, power, status among
    peers and interest groups).
  • Balancing priorities (Time pressures).
  • Political Implications.
  • Dependent on others for advice.

8
Staff
  • Promote and protect boss.
  • Help in sorting through avalanche of inputs to
    determine what is important.
  • Help develop assumptions and present fiscal and
    program estimates.
  • Help in identifying key players.
  • Help in developing viable policy options,
    drafting bills, report language, floor
    statements, speeches.
  • Help in developing political strategy.

9
Understand the importance of long-term
relationships.
  • Develop long-term trust relationships to
    maximize influence.
  • Always follow up a meeting with a thank you
    note.
  • Engage in conversations periodically without
    asking for help with an issue.
  • Work towards being known as a credible brain
    injury source.
  • Be careful to always seem reasonable and not to
    overstay your welcome.

10
Recognize your strengths and limitations.
  • Keep your eye on the prize--put ego aside.
  • Dont agree to a policy option when not fully
    knowledgeable.
  • Dont agree to a policy option on behalf of
    others who you dont represent.

11
Prepared BySarah DOrsieDirector of Government
Affairs Brain Injury Association of America
  • Contributor
  • Bobby Silverstein, Esq.
  • Principal
  • Powers, Pyles, Sutter Verville, PC
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