Advocacy Training

Advocacy Training
December 10, 2014
10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Agenda and objective
• Give Advocates the tools needed to be effective during the legislative session
Storytelling exercise
What is advocacy
How a bill becomes a law and the legislative process
Being an advocate
Social media as an advocacy tool
Take action and next steps
• Name and organization
• What inspires you to work on behalf of
• Tell a story of a time you were “in the zone”
for early care and education, or a time when
you really felt you were making a difference.
• 1 storyteller, 1 interviewer/note taker
• Interviewer listens for values and
What is Advocacy?
• What does the word
advocacy mean to you?
Advocacy vs Activism
• Activism
– The use of direct, often confrontational action,
such as a demonstration or strike, in opposition
to or support of a cause
• Advocacy
– The pursuit of influencing outcomes that directly
affect people’s lives; the work and effort that
contributes to the betterment of others
An Effective Advocate
“Effective advocates truly
believe that just one person can
truly make a difference”
An Effective Advocate
What advocacy do you
already do?
An Effective Advocate
What barriers do you
face in becoming an
effective advocate?
Advocacy to empower
How will advocacy empower you as a professional?
• Increased professionalism
– Within and outside the field
• Better able to articulate what you do and why
• By being more intentional you are more efficient and
Amplify your voice
Knowing the legislative process and the
system for making policies assures your
voice will be heard at just the right time
I’m Just a Bill
The Legislative Process
How a Bill Becomes a Law in (Basically) 3 Easy
1. Idea: bill introduced
2. Committees: hearings, amendments
3. House and Senate vote
Step 1: The Idea is Introduced
Legislative author is found,
Bill is drafted & introduced
Bill begins process
in the House
Bill begins parallel process
in the Senate
Step 2: The Committee Process
Bill is sent to the Committee which oversees that issue
Bill is heard in Committee – legislators ask questions and debate
and the public can testify. The committee can send the bill to the floor on
its own, include it in the omnibus bill, or “kill” the bill.
If Bill is still “alive” it can move forward alone or be included in the
committee’s omnibus bill. Usually funding bills are included in a larger
bill while policy bills may travel alone or can be included in the omnibus.
Step 3: The Finale
Bill is voted on by the full House and Senate.
If there are differences, they are sent to a conference committee for negotiation,
Then sent back to the House & Senate floors to vote on the final version.
Next stop: The Governor
3 days to sign or veto a bill (unless it is at the very end of the session).
A bill may become also law during session if the Governor takes no action.
The Legislature may overrule a Governor’s veto
with a two-thirds majority.
Key dates in the 2015 Session
January 6 – session begins
Late January – Governor’s budget released
Early March – February forecast
Early April – spring break (Easter/Passover)
May 18 – deadline for session to end
Find Who Represents You
Geographic Information Services:
Find Who Represents You
Being an Advocate
1. Know what you want
2. Be persistent
3. Involve others
Grassroots Pyramid
Highly personal tactics
(visits, handwriten
personal letters, etc)
Less personal tactics
(petitions, Day at the
Capitol, etc)
Small number of
grassroots advocates
needed to have impact
High number of
grassroots advocates
need to have impact
The Grassroots Contact Pyramid was created by Grassroots Solutions, Inc
Build a Relationship with your
• Like dealing with your neighbor
– Long-term relationship: they could be in office
for many terms
• Stay in touch
– Aim for four times a year: beginning of session
(January), mid-session (March-April), end of
session (June), outside of session
Key points
• Know what you want to say.
• Stick to one issue per contact.
• Begin with your personal experience, then broaden the
• Share no more than three or four key points to express
your views.
– Know your facts
• Be Concise!
Advocacy and
Social Media
Take Action
Put your voice
in to action –
write a letter
Keep it up!
• Citizen Lobbying is most effective when it
is part of a grassroots movement.
• Talk to you friends, neighbors, colleagues,
families about the issues you care about.
• Join the Think Small network
Kat Kempe
[email protected]
Think Small
Leaders in Early Learning
10 Yorkton Court
Saint Paul, MN 55117

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