Leveraging Your Message to Advance Your Advocacy Agenda Zack Olmstead Homeless Policy Director Housing California
Housing CA Background <ul><li>Nonprofit 501(c)3 organization </li></ul><ul><li>Lobbies on state level policy and budget is...
History <ul><li>1970’s nonprofit affordable-home developer regional trade associations formed </li></ul><ul><li>1980’s for...
Identifying the Issue <ul><li>What is the goal? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More funding? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More attent...
Creating a Message <ul><li>Keep it Simple </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t expect that targets know your issue </li></ul><ul><li>Of...
Identifying Your Target(s) <ul><li>Know your audience! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Elected officials? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li...
Examples <ul><ul><li>Messaging with the new governor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>$25 billion budget deficit with deep c...
Examples <ul><ul><li>Working to get new Lt. Governor to serve as statewide champion on homelessness and Chair of a new Sta...
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5.5 Leveraging Your Message to Advance Your Advocacy Agenda

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5.5 Leveraging Your Message to Advance Your Advocacy Agenda

  1. 1. Leveraging Your Message to Advance Your Advocacy Agenda Zack Olmstead Homeless Policy Director Housing California
  2. 2. Housing CA Background <ul><li>Nonprofit 501(c)3 organization </li></ul><ul><li>Lobbies on state level policy and budget issues to prevent and end homelessness and increase the supply of decent, safe and permanently affordable homes for all Californians </li></ul><ul><li>Funded by annual conference, sponsorships, memberships, and grants </li></ul>
  3. 3. History <ul><li>1970’s nonprofit affordable-home developer regional trade associations formed </li></ul><ul><li>1980’s formed a statewide homeless coalition and a statewide housing coalition </li></ul><ul><li>1990’s merged into CA Housing and Homelessness Coalition (CHHC)  Housing California (HCA) in 1996 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Housing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Homelessness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tenant’s rights </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Identifying the Issue <ul><li>What is the goal? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More funding? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More attention to issue? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is it politically feasible? Economically feasible? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A no to either of these doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t pursue, but it will determine expectations and what represents a success </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What’s the time frame? </li></ul><ul><li>What stakeholders need to be consulted? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there discernible activities/benchmarks to measure progress? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Creating a Message <ul><li>Keep it Simple </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t expect that targets know your issue </li></ul><ul><li>Often it works well to relate message to other issues that are consuming media coverage or policy debate </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Stories/Human Connection if possible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sympathetic face of issue a plus (vets, DV, seniors, etc.) </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Identifying Your Target(s) <ul><li>Know your audience! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Elected officials? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The public (voters)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Messages Often Need to Vary depending upon target </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Public may care about a message about serving the most vulnerable, but elected officials and media may pay more attention to cost savings argument </li></ul>
  7. 7. Examples <ul><ul><li>Messaging with the new governor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>$25 billion budget deficit with deep cuts to HHS </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Key question is what the role of government should be </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>We are saying that creation of ELI homes and ending homelessness is a core function of government </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Framing “housing” as an infrastructure issue for legislature but “homelessness” as a social issue with the public </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Based on polling </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Examples <ul><ul><li>Working to get new Lt. Governor to serve as statewide champion on homelessness and Chair of a new State Interagency Council </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Selling point in current $ tight environment is focus on more federal $ and using existing programs in new ways for homelessness </li></ul></ul></ul>
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