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10 Tips for Advocacy

MegaphoneThe following post is from Lu Ann McNabb, NCTE Policy And Alliances Associate.

In my experience as an advocate for many issues I hold dear, I have learned a lot about what it takes to win the change you seek. Here are my 10 tips for advocacy.

  1. Develop close working relationships with legislators and staff members by meeting with them, writing them, attending events, and talking about their families and interests.
  2. Dress nicely when you meet with or testify before policymakers.
  3. Speak succinctly—never more than 3–5 minutes in a public forum.
  4. Target every committee member, even if you think speaking to them may be futile.
  5. Write letters to the editor and post them on social media.
  6. Enlist help from friends, family, and other organizations and individuals sympathetic to your cause.
  7. Gather the facts and information behind your issue and share, especially when legislators ask for them.
  8. Reach out to opponents and offer to work on policy language that is mutually acceptable.
  9. Keep the pressure on and never give up: if a bill fails one session, review what happened, learn why it failed and change the language for the next session.
  10. Always write thank-you notes after meeting with staff or elected officials.