Advocacy: Telling the Story 2013 Family Center Annual
Advocacy: Telling the Story 2013 Family Center Annual Event PACWRC April 17, 2013 Alison Gee Jamie Baxter Denise Hoffman INTRODUCTION 2 Learning Objectives By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to: Identify strategies for engaging with changemakers and influencers
Identify key strategies to advocate effectively for Family Centers Recognize the power and appropriate use of personal stories to advocate 3 Workshop Agenda Introduction
Advocacy with Elected Officials Being an Effective Advocate for Family Centers Sharing Your Story: Advocacy and Personal Experience 4 ADVOCACY WITH ELECTED OFFICIALS Alison Gee, MPH National Director of Public Policy & Advocacy Parents as Teachers National Center
5 First of all, You already know how to advocate You do it every day Youre just talking to a different audience (and legislators put their pants on one
leg at a time, just like you) One leg at a time! 6 What is advocacy? Liste n !
An effort to shape the perception and behavior of a particular audience to effect public policy changes 7 Advocacy involves: Knowing your audience & who makes the decisions Ensuring the key decision makers are well informed
Using data that is relevant and persuasive Building relationships Telling stories that illustrate why your program & services make a difference Informing the public and opinion leaders about an issue or problem and mobilizing them to share their stories and speak their minds with those in the position to take action 8 Your voice is important because: Children cannot vote & have no voice in the process
Legislators dont always have all the facts Legislators face difficult choices over scarce resources If you do not make your voice heard, legislators will think your program is not important Speak for me! You are the voice for the children and families you serve You have compelling stories to tell YOU are the expert! 9
Advocacy is not the same as lobbying Advocacy = information, education, stories, facts, figures, persuasion to a point of view Lobbying = Advocacy + Vote NO on Senate Bill XXX Dont be afraid to talk about issuesjust stay away from telling the legislator how to vote on a specific bill. 10
Stay informed! Join advocacy listservs, such as: Pennsylvania: PA Partnerships for Children: www.papartnerships.org The Advocates Agenda: www.theadvocatesagenda.com The Build Initiative: www.buildinitiative.org/content/pennsylvania National: Parents as Teachers National Center : www.parentsasteachers.org National Association for the Education of Young Children: www.naeyc.org 11
What are the key issues? Ask questions: What issues are of most concern to you, your program? Where are the gaps in services? What are the barriers to implementing programs? Are your programs reaching targeted populations? Do you have the resources you need? What could help you be more successful? 12
Identify your key issue Sample advocacy issue: Background: The first 2000 days of a childs life are critical to development. Early childhood education, including home visiting programs for children 0-5, has been demonstrated to help them be cognitively, socially and emotionally ready for school. Issue: The budget is tight, state revenues are down, and the Governor has proposed cutting early education funding by 25%.
13 Develop goals & objectives What is a goal? An advocacy goal is the long-term outcome of your advocacy effort. It is the change you want to see, your vision, or your dream Sample goal: All families have access to evidence-based early learning services and programs that enable children to start school prepared for success, and help parents advance and be productive in the workforce. What is an objective? An advocacy objective is a specific, short-term outcome that
contributes toward your goal and is pursued in a certain period of time Sample objective: Pennsylvania policy-makers will maintain current FY funding for early childhood programs 14 Advocacy Objectives should be SMART Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time-bound
15 So, how does the process work? Where do I begin? Who can make the public policy changes we need? 16 Understand process & players 3 Branches of Government:
LAW General Assembly: makes the laws o House of Representatives o Senate Judiciary: interprets the laws Executive: implements the laws 17 Executive Branch Governor
Lt. Governor (also President of Senate) State Departments State Boards & 18 Legislative Branch GENERAL ASSEMBLY House of
Representatives Senate Speaker of the House President Pro-Tem Majority Leader Majority Leader Minority Leader
Minority Leader Committee Chairs & Members Committee Chairs & Members Full House (111 R, 92 D, Full Senate (27R, 23D) 2v) http://www.legis.state.pa.us 19
How a bill becomes a law The bill is introduced in the Senate or House of Representatives The bill is sent to committee for debate and approval The bill is sent to Minority and Majority caucuses for review and approval The bill is sent on to the full Senate or House for consideration Passage of the bill is debated and voted upon Upon approval by one chamber, the bill is sent to the other chamber and the process is repeated If approved, the bill is signed by the Speaker of the House, the Senate Pro Tem, and sent to the Governor to be signed (or vetoed) 20 Budget Cycle
. http://www.govtrel.pitt.edu/commonwealth/pabudget.html 21 Where to begin First, get to know your member(s): Republican or Democrat? In the majority or minority? Socially or fiscally liberal, moderate, or conservative? What is the district like?
Is this issue relevant to the member? Does s/he have children or grandchildren? Does someone on your board or advisory council know her/him? What are her/his key issues of interest? What do you know about the spouse/partners 22 Its all about the relationship Use your research to identify ways to build a relationship Build those relationships before you need to ask them to do
something Once you have a relationship, if s/he is supportive, ask her/him to help you with other members 23 Whats my message? An effective advocacy message Informs Persuades Moves audience to action Uses facts, figures, and real-life examples Appeals to the values of your target audience
Addresses the perceived barriers of your audience Is simple and concise Is tailored for your target audience 24 Stay on message: Know your message Anticipate pushback Dont make things
up Avoid jargon and alphabet soup Dont repeat back negative questions Always tell a story n O ! t e g
r a T 25 Identify your Change makers and Influencers Change makers are individuals and/or institutions that can make the change you seek Examples: Governor, State Department Director, Committee Chair, General Assembly Influencers are individuals and/or institutions that
can influence the primary target. Examples: Spouses/families of politicians, Educators, Parents, Constituents, Business Leaders, Faith Leaders 26 Advocacy tactics Tactics are the means to gain your objective Invite your elected officials to join your
advisory council Invite legislators to visit your program and/or shadow you Visit your member at the Capitol
Call or write your elected officials Hold an in-district meeting at someones home or a public library with a group of parents 27 Get the word out Develop district or region-specific fact sheets
Deliver petitions signed by their constituents Write letters-to-the-editor (LTEs); send copies of LTEs to your legislators
Submit an op-ed to the paper signed by an influencer Implement a Tell Your Story 28 Keys to a successful meeting
Plan : Have a clear goal and spokesperson(s) Make your case. Be honest & respectful
Make an appointment. Be prompt, patient, & persistent Practice your message Introduce yourself and say where you live in the district and/or where your center is located and who it serves Share a story Leave a fact sheet with information about your issue Say thank you and follow up 29 Monitor implementation Sometimes we have a really big win, but then no follow-up
Rules and regulations Dissemination of information Oversight Appropriations 30
If you think youre too small to have an impact, try going to sleep with a mosquito. Anita Roddick 31 Questions? 32 BEING AN EFFECTIVE ADVOCATE FOR FAMILY CENTERS Jamie Baxter
Director of Legislative Policy and Advocacy Allegheny Intermediate Unit 33 Current Fight Funding cuts on the local level Funding cuts on the state level
Funding cuts 34 Are You Angry? What are you doing about it? Who else are you getting involved? How can we fight back?
35 Advocating for Your Programs How can you get involved earlier in the process? Who should you be targeting? What partnerships do you have? How can you grow your partnerships?
36 Contacting the Media Build relationships with reporters Invite media to events Alert media if policymakers will be in attendance Write letters to the editor and Op/ Ed pieces
37 Other Audiences Parents Community members Students Other educators 38 Coalition Building
What partnerships do you have? What groups can you reach out to support your efforts? Role of larger education coalitions 39 The Future
The fight will continue. Remember: You are the Expert! If we dont advocate for family centers, who will? Keep it up! Your voice is being heard! Together we can build legislative and community support. 40 Contact Information Jamie Baxter Director of
Legislative Policy and Advocacy Allegheny Intermediate Unit [email protected] t 412-394-4966 41 Questions? 42 SHARING YOUR STORY:
ADVOCACY AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCE Denise Hoffman Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center 43 Overview:
Strategic Sharing Benefits Risks Choose, Connect & Claim Practice ! 44 What is Strategic Sharing?
Uh oh.. Training designed to help you share your personal story in a way that is meaningful, effective, and safe. 45
Why is it important to share our stories? Helps put a face to an issue Inspires change in the system and in individuals Influences peoples perceptions and stereotypes Youth and alumni of the system are the experts 46 What are some of the risks? Sharing regret/oversharing
Memories can be painful Some people only hear what they want to hear Its personal its YOUR life! Uh oh. 47 How do we guard against the risks? Be prepared
Be strategic Be honest 48 Being Strategic Choose: Your purpose What you share The details 49
Being Strategic Connect with your Audience Purpose 50 Being Strategic Claim the Meaning and significance
Emotion Process of sharing 51 Responding to Difficult Questions Restate your purpose and move on Open the question up to the group Generalize to the larger issue Decline to answer 52
Credibility Can vary due to: Manner of communicating Perceived trustworthiness Professional allies Appearance #@$*&!! 53
Panel Presentation Typical questions Format and flow Tips 54 Choose, Connect, and Claim Take time to choose one part of your story to share Think about how you will
choose, connect, and claim Practice presenting 55 Assess Results How did it feel? What was the toughest part? What was the easiest part? 56 Resource
This presentation was adapted from the Strategic Sharing booklet developed by Casey Family Programs and Foster Care Alumni of America This booklet is available for download at www.casey.org 57 Questions? 58
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