Tips for Effective Advocacy

TIPS TO EFFECTIVE ADVOCACY

How can you be more effective in your advocacy for a subject about which you care?
Here are some tips to keep in mind.

  1. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS: Get to know the lawmaker(s) before your issue “blows up.” It is easier to ask for their help and support if they know and trust you.
  2. EDUCATION: Educate yourself on the issue. You do not have to be an expert but you do want to have a clear understanding of the issue. More information equals more effective advocacy.
  3. BUILD SUPPORT: Find others who care about the issue. Always look for established organizations or groups that are likeminded. Host educational forums at your congregation or organization on issues of importance to you.
  4. INTEGRITY: Don’t fake your answer to a question from a lawmaker. If you don’t know, tell them you will follow up with additional information. Make sure you do!
  5. COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY in person and in writing:
    1. Explain your opinion, briefly.
    2. State your expectation of them as your representative.
    3. If writing, sign your name and include your address.
    4. Tell them you will be paying attention to the issue and their vote.
  6. MAKE IT PERSONAL: Go to them. Talk with a policymaker face to face – at the capitol (or city hall, etc.), at a legislative forum, or other public events.
  7. SHOW UP: Attend legislative forums in your district sponsored by your representative or senator. Show that you are an engaged constituent.
  8. FAITH MATTERS: If applicable, include in any correspondence or meeting that you are a person of faith. Lawmakers must understand there are varying perspectives from people of faith on many issues.

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