Can anyone advocate? The answer is ABSOLUTELY! And as a constituent, you—the one most affected by a policy, regulation or practice—can and should take an active role informing policymakers about why reforms are needed and how change can help you (or those you care about) live a better life. You have important knowledge to share and your thoughts and opinions can persuade policymakers and administrators, which in turn can positively influence the choices they make and the direction they take on an issue.
This Policy Action Center is intended to arm both those new and experienced in advocacy with helpful information and tools that lead to policy change.
Advocacy in Action
You can be an advocate by educating policymakers about the needs of your organization and the people you serve, and developing a relationship where you act as trusted voice on policy issues and a helpful resource to your elected officials. You also can organize supporters on issues of importance and educate a wider audience on issues that matter to you. Some examples include:
- Emailing or calling your elected officials.
- Organizing meetings or site visits with your legislators and their staff.
- Making your views known to policymakers and your community through associations you are a member of, traditional and social media.
- Educating a legislator about the effects of a policy on you or those you serve.
- Inviting a member of Congress to visit your organization or someone you serve so that he/she can see firsthand how funding or a lack of funding affects day-to-day operations and the difference it can it can make.
Keep in mind that these activities cross the line into lobbying if they call for action on introduced legislation or a pending regulation.