How to stir things up for good

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Presentation given at Church Women United's 70th Birthday Celebration

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How to stir things up for good

  1. 1. How to stir things up
  2. 2. How to stir things up for good
  3. 3. Advocacy
  4. 4. “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
  5. 5. AdvocacyCharity vs. Justice
  6. 6. Charity and justice are two distinct components within social ministry that answer the call to new life in the world: two ends of a spectrum of living out one’s faith. Both encompass compassionate caring for the oppressed, the poor and the vulnerable. Both define our call to live out the Gospel of God’s love and reconciliation. Yet they differ in scope, in method, in goals.
  7. 7. Charity and justice are two distinct components within social ministry that answer the call to new life in the world: two ends of a spectrum of living out one’s faith. Both encompass compassionate caring for the oppressed, the poor and the vulnerable. Both define our call to live out the Gospel of God’s love and reconciliation. Yet they differ in scope, in method, in goals. Complementary, yes. The same, no.
  8. 8. Charity responds to an immediate need.It provides direct service such as food, clothing or shelter. Often a private and individual act of caring, it is directed toward the effects of social injustice.
  9. 9. Charity responds to an immediate need.It provides direct service such as food, clothing or shelter. Often a private and individual act of caring, it is directed toward the effects of social injustice. - Serving in a soup kitchen
  10. 10. Charity responds to an immediate need.It provides direct service such as food, clothing or shelter. Often a private and individual act of caring, it is directed toward the effects of social injustice. - Serving in a soup kitchen - Donating clothes to the Salvation Army
  11. 11. Charity responds to an immediate need.It provides direct service such as food, clothing or shelter. Often a private and individual act of caring, it is directed toward the effects of social injustice. - Serving in a soup kitchen - Donating clothes to the Salvation Army - Volunteering in the brothels in Cambodia
  12. 12. Justice addresses long-term conditions, promoting social change in institutions, policies and systems. Justice is public, political, and oriented to collective action for change. It directs us toward the causes of social injustice.
  13. 13. Justice addresses long-term conditions, promoting social change in institutions, policies and systems. Justice is public, political, and oriented to collective action for change. It directs us toward the causes of social injustice. - Asking your Member of Congress to vote a particular way on a bill
  14. 14. Justice addresses long-term conditions, promoting social change in institutions, policies and systems. Justice is public, political, and oriented to collective action for change. It directs us toward the causes of social injustice. - Asking your Member of Congress to vote a particular way on a bill - Holding a community meeting to protest a local business’ environment practices
  15. 15. Justice addresses long-term conditions, promoting social change in institutions, policies and systems. Justice is public, political, and oriented to collective action for change. It directs us toward the causes of social injustice. - Asking your Member of Congress to vote a particular way on a bill - Holding a community meeting to protest a local business’ environment practices - Holding a voter registration drive
  16. 16. To Advocate is to stir things up
  17. 17. To Advocate is to stir things up for good
  18. 18. What is Advocacy?
  19. 19. What is Advocacy?… an action directed at changing the policies, positions or programs of any type of institution.
  20. 20. What is Advocacy?… an action directed at changing the policies, positions or programs of any type of institution.… is speaking up, drawing a community’s attention to an important issue, and directing decision makers toward a solution.
  21. 21. What is Advocacy?… an action directed at changing the policies, positions or programs of any type of institution.… is speaking up, drawing a community’s attention to an important issue, and directing decision makers toward a solution.… is putting a problem on the agenda, providing a solution to that problem and building support for action on both the problem and solution.
  22. 22. What is Advocacy?… an action directed at changing the policies, positions or programs of any type of institution.… is speaking up, drawing a community’s attention to an important issue, and directing decision makers toward a solution.… is putting a problem on the agenda, providing a solution to that problem and building support for action on both the problem and solution.… is the process of people participating in decision-making processes which affect their lives.
  23. 23. You must be the change you want to see in the world. - Mahatma Gandhi
  24. 24. In a report from the Congressional Management Foundation on October 03, 2011 --“Congressional offices are receiving between 200 to 1,000 percent more constituent communications than they were ten years ago.Despite the increase, a survey of congressional staff indicates that 90 percent believe constituent communications remains a "high priority" for the office.”
  25. 25. Members of Congress are listening District or DC Office visits Email Phone calls POPVOX
  26. 26. HOW TO BE AN ADVOCATE
  27. 27. STAGE 1 Identify the Issue
  28. 28. STAGE 1 Identify the Issue Politics = who gets what, when & how
  29. 29. STAGE 1 Identify the Issue  what is the problem?  who are the actors/decision makers involved in this issue?  what is the public perception of the problem?  what are those in opposition saying?  what has been tried to remedy the issue in the past but failed and why?
  30. 30. STAGE 2 Define the objective
  31. 31. STAGE 2  what is the goal?  who are the decision makers?  how will you define success?  what is your timeline?  what outcome is politically, economically and socially feasible?
  32. 32. Components of aGuiding Document
  33. 33. Components of aGuiding Document a concise and persuasive statement that offers the goals of the advocacy action – what is to be achieved, why, and how
  34. 34. Components of aGuiding Document a concise and persuasive statement that offers the goals of the advocacy action – what is to be achieved, why, and how a statement on why this is an the objective achievable
  35. 35. Components of aGuiding Document a concise and persuasive statement that offers the goals of the advocacy action – what is to be achieved, why, and how a statement on why this is an the objective achievable a show of support for this objective
  36. 36. Components of aGuiding Document a concise and persuasive statement that offers the goals of the advocacy action – what is to be achieved, why, and how a statement on why this is an the objective achievable a show of support for this objective an accounting of sufficient resources (money and supporters’ time) to achieve the goal
  37. 37. Components of aGuiding Document a concise and persuasive statement that offers the goals of the advocacy action – what is to be achieved, why, and how a statement on why this is an the objective achievable a show of support for this objective an accounting of sufficient resources (money and supporters’ time) to achieve the goal a clear and realistic time frame
  38. 38. STAGE 3 Build support
  39. 39. STAGE 3  Who are the people who can influence the outcome?  Who are the stakeholders?  Who are your allies? (including strange bedfellows)  What is role of the press?
  40. 40. STAGE 3  Define the decision makers for the movement.  Decide clear roles of who will be moving the issue ahead.  Provide mechanisms for leaders to be accountable.
  41. 41. STAGE 3  Build a LIST of those who want to be engaged (and keep it updated)
  42. 42. STAGE 3  Build a LIST of those who want to be engaged (and keep it updated)  Encourage those on the list to invite others in their organizations, churches to join as well  Communicate with them regularly with updates to keep up the momentum
  43. 43. STAGE 4 Engage
  44. 44. STAGE 4 Engage - a public gathering
  45. 45. STAGE 4 Engage - Communicate your message
  46. 46. STAGE 4 Engage through the media  write a letter to the editor and encourage others to do the same  ask prominent members of your group to write an op-ed for publication
  47. 47. STAGE 4 Engage online  create a social network presence  BLOG – free blog sites from Google  Website – can create for free  Facebook – create your own group  Twitter – tweeting for change
  48. 48. STAGE 4 Engage by keeping informed  Create a POPVOX account
  49. 49. POPVOX – www.popvox.com
  50. 50. STAGE 4 Engage
  51. 51. STAGE 4 Engage your Member of Congress
  52. 52. Engaging CongressRemember –a survey of congressional staff indicates that 90 percent believe constituent communications remains a "high priority" for the office.”
  53. 53. Engaging CongressThe big secret to meeting with your Member of Congress, either in Washington DC or in the district office is . . . .
  54. 54. Engaging CongressThe big secret to meeting with your Member of Congress, either in Washington DC or in the district office is . . . .call the office and make an appointment.
  55. 55. Keys to a successful visit1. Do your research. Know your Member’s position on the issue, includingvoting record. Spend some time in your preparation with othersthinking about the types of questions that will be asked ofyou and preparing answers. Be prepared to answer the question: what does it meanif this decision is made (or not made). Name those who willbe affected.
  56. 56. Keys to a successful visit2. Practice, Practice, Practice. Be able to make your case clearly and quickly using your one-pager for talking points and facts. Most meetings in Congressional offices last for only 10 – 15 minutes. Be prepared to offer solutions, especially if there are ways that you can help if appropriate.
  57. 57. Keys to a successful visit3. Determine a speaking order. Determine the speaking order. Generally, the person who has the most knowledge about the subject should lead the conversation. Make sure that each person has an opportunity to share their personal connection to the issue and answer the question, “Why is this issue important to me.” Before the visit, it is a good idea to talk through the order of speaking and each person’s answer to this question.
  58. 58. Keys to a successful visit4. Have realistic expectations. Most likely you will be meeting with a staffer. This doesn’t mean that your issue isn’t important. Staffers are the work-horses of DC and Members rely on them heavily for information on how their constituents feel about the issues. Don’t expect the Member or Staffer to change their mind on the spot because of your visit. Be respectful of the time you are allotted for your visit and don’t be upset if you are asked to wait for your meeting.
  59. 59. Keys to a successful visit5. Leave behind information. Prior to the visit, assemble materials that include a summary of the group’s position, including the names and contact information of all who visited. Include any other press pieces or supporting documents, such as media pieces or op-eds from prominent individuals, that support your case. Can leave a small “token” that complies with House or Senate rules for gifts as a visual reminder.
  60. 60. Keys to a successful visit6. Thank them for the meeting. Thank the staffer or Member for their time at the close of the meeting. Follow up with a note or call after the event. If they promised to take further action or provide you with more information, you can remind them of that promise at that time.
  61. 61. Keys to a successful visit7. Share the news Use the communications networks that you have developed to report on the meeting and encourage any specific follow up.
  62. 62. Keys to a successful visit Only have 5 minutes?
  63. 63. Keys to a successful visit Only have 5 minutes? A simple call will do.
  64. 64. Keys to a successful visit You can reach any Member’s office by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and asking the operator to transfer you to that office.
  65. 65. Keys to a successful visit When on the call…. - Identify yourself and give your address - tell the staffer why you are calling and offer your opinion
  66. 66. Questions?Comments?
  67. 67. Thanks for attending….Robin Fillmore, PhDAdvocacy CoordinatorCWU and NCCrobinfillmore@churchwomen.org202-481-6929

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