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ADVOCACY: A Process for your Passion A Personal Vision by Richard Krzyzanowski Consumer-Employee Advocate Center of Excellence / Orange County Health Care Agency – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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  • A Process for your Passion
  • A Personal Vision
  • by
  • Richard Krzyzanowski
  • Consumer-Employee Advocate
  • Center of Excellence / Orange County Health Care

Who am I to Talk?(Some of My Background
  • Five years as a Patients Rights Advocate for Los
    Angeles County
  • Two years on California Association of Mental
    Health Patients Rights Advocates board of
    directors, including as vice president
  • Four years on the LA County Commission on
    Disabilities, including as vice president and
  • One year on board of directors of California
    Network of Mental Health Clients
  • Two years on Client Family Leadership Committee
    of the California Mental Health Services
    Oversight Accountability Commission
  • Shop Steward for Orange County Employees
  • Two years At-Large Neighborhood Representative,
    8th Los Angeles City Council District Empowerment

The Value of Experience
  • Over the years, I had my victories and defeats
  • I made mistakes. In some cases, I didnt realize
    they were mistakes until later (sometimes much
    later). Live and learn!
  • On occasion, I made enemies. Sometimes, that was
    unavoidable but, at other times, it was.
    Learning from these experiences has (hopefully)
    made me a better advocate.

A Definition(with assistance from Mr. Webster)
  • ADVOCACY The ART of speaking or writing in
    support of something or some person
  • Like all art, many skills go into making it
    happen successfully

Some Types of Advocacy
  • Individual advocacy
  • Self-advocacy
  • Collective advocacy
  • Systems advocacy
  • Adversarial
  • Collaborative
  • Process or Structural advocacy
  • Informational or Educational

Some Workplace Examples
  • Self-advocacy Seeking a reasonable
    accommodation based on disability or personal
  • Other, more collective advocacy Seeking to
    improve workplace conditions for a group, for
    example, speaking out for the interests or rights
    of peer professionals
  • Systems advocacy Seeking to make or change
    policies to improve conditions or clarify

One Effective Combination
  • Real systems change is often accomplished with a
    combination of individual or self-advocacy with
    systems advocacy. Even big changes can have a
    human face!

A Good Advocate is
  • a good strategist
  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • (Dont just point out problems Have a solution
    to suggest )
  • How can we get it done?
  • Where do we start?
  • (Its usually best to start at the lowest
    levels, and work your way up)

On Strategy
  • What is the next step?
  • Know where to go to accomplish your goals and
  • Who has the power to make things happen?

A Good Advocate is
  • a good communicator
  • Know your audience
  • Speak their language
  • Know their needs and values
  • Know their culture or environment
  • Honor their time frame
  • And remember The most important communication
    skill is the ability to LISTEN!

A Good Advocate is
  • a good collaborator
  • Advocates with, not for others
  • (Take care not to disempower)
  • Who can help? Who do I need on my side to
    achieve this?
  • (Make friends/allies, find common ground)
  • Be a bridge builder!
  • (Create problem-solving relationships, even with
    those that seem like they are on the other

A Good Advocate is
  • a good diplomat
  • Put principles over personalities
  • (Remember, in the workplace, for example, that
    you will have a continuing relationship with your
    bosses and colleagues, and you want that to
    remain collaborative and civil, if not friendly)
  • Keep your perspective focus on your goals
  • (Dont destroy the village in order to
  • save it)

On Diplomacy
  • Your ability to occasionally agree to disagree
    and to intelligently compromise can mean the
    difference between success and failure.
  • Be patient think long-term A partial success
    today gives you a foundation for future advocacy
    that may achieve you full goals. Some things
    take time and can only be accomplished

Another Effective Combination
  • Insider vs. Outsider A one-two punch!
  • Advocacy on the outside of systems of power and
    bureaucracy has a freedom of movement and speech,
    and can focus its message on what seems right
  • Advocacy from within systems requires more
    diplomacy, because advocates have to exist within
    a delicate web of power relationships. On the
    other hand, they may have more direct access to
    those with decision-making power. Such advocacy
    often focuses on what seems practical

Workplace culture
  • Is typically
  • Hierarchical
  • Undemocratic
  • Task-oriented
  • Advocacy in such an environment requires striking
    a delicate balance between the culture and
    needs of the workplace and your needs and
    interests as a worker.

Do your Homework
  • Know the Rules In the workplace, this can be
    your company or agencys
  • Code of Conduct
  • Union Contract or MOU
  • Human Resources policies
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Fair
    Employment Housing Laws, and other federal and
    state Labor Laws

The Most Essential Tool Ethics
  • This is your Code of Honor, your values, the big
    picture principles that guide your life
  • It could be Recovery values or spiritual values
    They could be drawn from your life experience or
    family, ethnic or professional traditions

You are Seldom Alone
  • As this call aptly illustrates, we are part of a
    Community of Advocacy
  • Whether you advocate as an individual or as part
    of a group for yourself or for another as a
    professional advocate, as a worker, or as a
    citizen What you do and how you do it can
    reflect on us all
  • Therefore, be considerate of your partners, seen
    and unseen, in the quest for justice and the
    common good

Something to remember
  • There is power in advocacy, and we have a
    responsibility to use that power to serve others
    and the common good
  • Use you power to build, avoid destruction for its
    own sake help others grow and succeed as
    individuals and collaborate as coworkers
  • Find the common ground, and plant your seeds!