Text of MD Department of Education Motivate, Educate, Activate Summit December 2, 2004 Adelphi, MD Linda...
MD Department of Education Motivate, Educate, Activate Summit December 2, 2004 Adelphi, MD Linda Goldsholl, MS, RD firstname.lastname@example.org Tracy A. Fox, MPH, RD email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Advocacy Efforts Beyond School Borders
Overview of Workshop Introductions and Workshop Focus Advocacy Tips Advocacy vs Lobbying Promising Policy Options Developing an advocacy plan Wrap-up
Rule #1: Speaking Up To see a change you must make a change let your concerns/views be known. Identify the major health/nutrition problems & concerns in your community and communicate those concerns. Talk it up Get appointed to key positions Communicate concerns: send notes, calls, e- mails, testify at Board of Ed meetings; send a health-related report to key decision makers Hold a meeting and invite key players/advocates
Rule #2: Determine Your Target Audience(s) Key decision makers Other influencers
Key Decision Makers Define who the decision maker(s) is (are): elected officials and their staff your boss and their boss a client Board of Education/Superintendent/County Council Determine the best approach strength in numbers Identify influencers
Other Influencers Who is the person or organization that the decision maker turns to Staffers Principals/area superintendents Golfing/tennis buddy Secretary Children Physician
Speed Bumps Choosing the right messenger
Rule #3: Be Concise and Direct make sure they HEAR you A picture tells a thousand words bring something you have to explain Keep it short and simple the 2 minute rule Invite decision makers to moderate a panel
Obesity in Children *Obese is defined by the 95 th percentile of the sex-specific 2000 CDC BMI-for-age-growth charts. **Data for 1966-70 is for adolescents ages 12-17.
Children Meeting Dietary Recommendations Food Guide Pyramid 2% Fruits and Vegetables10% Saturated Fat16% Milk Group30% USDA, Changes in Childrens Diets, 2001
15.5% of children and adolescents are now overweight or obese Montgomery County has 140,000 students The 21,000 overweight or obese children fill the seats of 19 Elementary Schools 8 Middle Schools 4 High Schools
Rule #4: Use the Media to Promote Your Message Newsletters Local/national newspapers Letters to the editor Radio stations-call in shows Local cable access and other stations Local ed agency TV shows
Media = Free Marketing
Tip #5: Keep the Door Open- Never Assume First your friends need to hear from you Second never assume nothing is certain Third dont write any one or organization off yesterdays adversaries may be tomorrows allies
Lobbying vs. Advocacy Lobbying Influencing the legislative process either directly or through grassroots approaches appeals to the public/others suggesting that they contact their elected rep Definition varies based on individual and organization. Narrowly defined in laws; ind. and orgs. that lobby must comply with laws; public funds generally cannot go towards lobbying; not-for- profit status can be questioned
Advocacy Its OK to Advocate! Advocacy refers to the set of skills used to create a shift in public opinion and mobilize the necessary resources and forces to support an issue, policy, or constituency. Lobbying generally includes advocacy; advocacy does not necessarily include lobbying. No statutes or legal terms for advocacy. Dont have to register to be an advocate. While everyone is (or should be) an advocate, not everyone is a lobbyist! (thank goodness).
Examples Developing non-partisan research and analysis (preparation of issue briefs) (A) Briefing policy makers on public health funding issues, infrastructure, or a public health epidemic in your area like obesity (A) Testifying at a Board of Ed open meeting on vending machines in schools (A) Briefing policy makers and taking a position on a particular piece of legislation that will negatively impact public health (L) Being asked to testify (A) Asking to testify (L)
Letter Writing Maximizing the Message New reports/articles Types of Letters: Postcard Form E-mails Variations on form Sign on w/ others Hand typed or written
Making A Difference Form/postcards: strength in numbers Personalizing the form letter One well-written compelling letter has merit Include professional affiliations
Legislative Branches of Maryland Voters of Maryland General Assembly of Maryland House of Delegates 141 Members Senate 47 Members Speaker of the House Chief Clerk Senate Committees (Standing) (11 members per committee) Budget and Taxation Educational Health and Environmental Affairs Finance Judicial Proceedings Executive Nominations Rules President of the Senate Secretary of the Senate Select (Local Delegations) House Committees (Standing) (35 members per committee) Appropriations Health and Government Operational Matters Economic Matters Environmental Matters Judiciary Ways and Means Rules and Executive Nominations County (Local Delegations) http://mlis.state.md.us Joint Committees (Statutory)
Legislative Policy Administrative, Exec., and Legislative Review (AELR) Budget and Audit Chesapeake Bay Critical Areas Oversight Federal Relations Federal-State-Local Relations advisory Commission Health Care Delivery and Financing Legislative Ethics Management of Public Funds Spending Affordability Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program Workers Compensation Benefit and Insurance Oversight Special Committees (Created by President/Speaker)
Rule 1 Speaking Up Let your legislator know of your concerns Provide data to support your opinion Offer your personal experience This issue is important to me because Know opposing opinions and provide information to refute claims Form letters are not very appealing.
Rule 2 Determine your target audience Get to know your legislator through his/her Resume Email distribution list Media events Know he/she will not read all 3000 bills. They put trust in their colleagues (those they like of course!) familiar with the bill and will vote the way they vote. You can usually count on a sponsor of a bill to vote for it, but you cannot always count on a co-sponsor.
Rule 3 - Be concise and direct make sure they HEAR you Target legislators where you work and live if you are a constituent, they are likely to read your correspondence, if not the letter will be handled by an aide Target legislators on the committees Hand in written statements well before any hearings
Rule 5 - Keep the door open and never assume Nothing happens overnight effective advocacy for public health policy takes years Keep up the communications! Use new reports as an opportunity to write again to support your issue
Local CVD Coordinators A good resource A potential partner for your efforts
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Meade