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Advocacy 101 - Austin, TX - January 2013


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One Voice Texas offers advocacy training as it educates and engages audiences regarding health and human services in Texas.

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Advocacy 101 - Austin, TX - January 2013

  1. 1. Advocating for a Healthy Texas
  2. 2. More than 10 million views
  3. 3. Going viral
  4. 4. Advocacy
  5. 5. What is One Voice Texas? a collaborative . . . a network working together . . . addressing health and human services needs . . . using public policy initiatives
  6. 6. Circulatory Integumentary LymphaticImmune Digestive Skeletal Nervous Urinary Endocrine RespiratoryMuscular Reproductive
  7. 7. Consumers Families Providers AdvocatesBoards Businesses Law Enforcement Elected Officials Funders
  8. 8. Priorities strong prevention and early intervention programs . . . to maximize federal funding for health and human services to . . .“Keep Texas Dollars Working in Texas”
  9. 9. Focus Areas Basic Needs & Community Care Behavioral Health Children and Youth Services Education Healthcare
  10. 10. Why One Voice Texas Is Effective … Leverages expertise of 100s
  11. 11. Why One Voice Texas Is Effective … Brings together like-minded coalitions and stakeholders to create consistent priorities and messages
  12. 12. Why One Voice Texas Is Effective …Recognizes health and human services as a total system with each area dependent on others in order to create lasting change
  13. 13. Advocacy & Lobbying
  14. 14. Advocacythe act of pleading or arguing by expressing a position on an issue… an umbrella term for activism related to a particular agenda …expected to be non-deceptive and in good faith
  15. 15. ADVOCACY Research OrganizingTraining Education Regulatory Efforts Lobbying
  16. 16. Lobbying always involves advocacy,but advocacy does not necessarilyinvolve lobbying. Advocacy Lobbying
  17. 17. IRS Regulations on Lobbying by Nonprofits Lobbying by a nonprofit is only the expenditure of money by the organization for the purpose of attempting to influence legislation Nonprofits which receive federal funds must complete detailed forms to show federal funds are not used to lobby
  18. 18. IRS Options for Nonprofits “insubstantial part test” - default “Section 501(h) expenditure test” – complete IRS form 5768
  19. 19. IRS Options for Nonprofits “insubstantial part test” ◦ “no substantial part of a charity’s activities…be carrying on propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation.” ◦ Based on activities, not expenditures ◦ IRS offers no absolute guidance ◦ Most tax practitioners generally advise that charities can safely devote 3-5% of their overall activities toward lobbying.
  20. 20. IRS Options for Nonprofits “Section 501(h) expenditure test” – counts only cash expenditures ◦ Up to $500,000 – 20% ◦ $500,000-$1million - $100,000 + 15% of excess (See p 6) ◦ Requires record-keeping (Best source: Alliance for Justice and
  21. 21. IRS Options for Nonprofits
  22. 22. Direct LobbyingCommunication ◦ With government officials ◦Expressing a view about specific legislation and asking for a specific action
  23. 23. Grassroots LobbyingCommunication ◦ With the general public ◦Expressing a view about specific legislation ◦ May include a “Call to Action”
  24. 24. During Election Seasons Nonprofits CAN:Continuenormal lobbying activitiesConduct nonpartisan activities such as: ◦ Candidate Visits and Forums ◦ Candidate Questionnaires ◦ Testimony on Party Platforms Activities must include all legitimate candidates for an office from all political parties
  25. 25. During Election Seasons Nonprofits CANNOT: Endorse or oppose a candidate for elective office Lend space, equipment, etc. to candidates or a political party Contribute money to a political party campaign or political action committee (PAC) Allow staff to contribute time at the expense of the organization; it must be done on their own time
  26. 26. Is it lobbying?A mental health association has a position in support of legislation to provide a range of services for homeless persons who are mentally ill. Providesinfo on the legislation and the association’s support in an alert and other communications to its members Includes NO request for members to contact legislators, nor does it give names, addresses or way to contact legislators
  27. 27. Is it lobbying?A child-placing agency provided information on a bill that would reform child welfare services and its position on it in a letter to members of the state legislature. The letter did not ask the legislators to support the legislation.
  28. 28. Is it lobbying?A local organization focusing on attendant care for the elderly and disabled was invited in writing by the Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee to testify on legislation being considered by the Committee. The groups’ Board Chairperson testified in support of the legislation, maintaining that the measure would improve the safety and well-being of individuals receiving attendant care.
  29. 29. Effective Advocates Need:Knowledge of the legislative process and rulesKnowledge of the issues and how to identify issues which require public policy changeAn understanding of when, why and how to communicate with elected officials and decision makers
  30. 30. TexasGovernment
  31. 31. Texas Constitution Appropriations/budget State Statutes Texas Legislature
  33. 33. TexasLegislature
  34. 34. The Texas Legislature  Twolegislative bodies: ◦ Texas State Senate ◦ Texas House of Representatives  Biennial sessions  ___ calendar days 140  Special Sessions - limited to 30 calendar days
  35. 35. The Texas Legislature Texas Senate  31 ___ Members, ½ elected every 2 years for 4-year terms  Lt. Governor, elected every 4 years; presides over the Senate  Senate elects President Pro-Tempore who presides in absence of Lt. Governor
  36. 36. The Texas Legislature Texas House of Representatives ___  150 members, elected every 2 years  Speaker of the House, elected by House each session; presides over the House  Speaker appoints House Speaker Pro-Tempore, who assists Speaker & presides in Speaker’s absence
  37. 37. Pre-filing started November 12th (First in line =better chance of making it through)60 days into session is the deadline for filing(without 4/5 vote)Mid-April is final pushDeadlines in May for passage of bills in House &SenateMay 27th end of session
  38. 38. The Texas Legislature House & Senate Rules  Established at the beginning of each Legislative session  Lt. Governor and Speaker of the House make all committee appointments, chairmanships and assignment of bills to committees  Speaker of the House may vote on all legislation  Lt. Governor may only vote to break a tie
  39. 39. Legislative Committees Most health & human services legislation is assigned to:  House ◦ Human Services Committee ◦ Public Health Committee  Senate ◦ Health and Human Services Committee
  40. 40. Legislative Committees Committee consideration of a bill = where most of the work is done Committee members (and their staff members) = first point of contact
  41. 41. Definitions Bill: a proposed law for consideration by the legislature HB: House Bill SB: Senate Bill CSHB: Committee Substitute House Bill CSSB: Committee Substitute Senate Bill
  42. 42. How a BillBecomesLawin Texas
  43. 43. How a BillBecomesLaw in Texas A committee does not have to take action on every bill referred to it A bill not reported on by a committee is considered dead for the session A committee may refer a bill to a subcommittee
  44. 44. How a BillBecomesLaw in Texas A committee or subcommittee has five options for a bill: ◦ Pass the bill as is ◦ Pass the bill with amendments ◦ Pass a substitute bill ◦ Table the bill ◦ Vote against passage of the bill
  45. 45. How a Bill BecomesLaw in Texas• Anyone may draft or suggest legislation – legislators, state agencies, advocacy organizationsMost bills are drafted by professional staff members of the Texas Legislative Council
  46. 46. How a Bill BecomesLaw in Texas• An example …
  47. 47. Identify the Issue ◦ Can the issue bring diverse groups together in support of the issue? ◦ Can you clearly identify the decision makers? ◦ Is the objective achievable, even with opposition? ◦ Is the issue easy to understand? ◦ And most importantly, does the issue really address the problem?
  48. 48. Research the Issue ◦ Who else in the community is working on this issue? ◦ How can we work together? ◦ Is there an organizational or social way to solve the problem other than a change at the policy level? ◦ Who might be opposed to the issue?
  49. 49. Connect ◦ Who cares about this problem? ◦ Who has the power to change the public policy? ◦ Who is a decision maker? ◦ What steps need to be taken to influence the decision maker to make the change?Educate the public ◦ Become a useful resource (data & stories)
  50. 50.
  51. 51. EffectiveCommunication
  52. 52. A 2008 Congressional ManagementFoundation report revealed:Nearly half of US adults hadcontacted Congress, more than80% of them at the urging of a thirdparty organization.
  53. 53. Suggestions to bridge theAdvocacy GapAbandon list building through messages to Congress. (Activists should be real with their actual rep.)Invest in making higher impact activities easier for advocates.Get deep into districts, shifting away from Washington, DC.Abandon the notion of “Congress.” Embrace Members of Congress.
  54. 54. Know yourselfKnow your audienceKnow your messageKnow your channels
  55. 55. Turn right at North Loop Fwy W 0.1 miTake the ramp on the left onto I-610 W 0.4 mi.Take the exit onto I-610 S 8.6 miTake exit 4B to merge onto S Post Oak Rd 3.9 miTurn left at W Orem Dr 2.1 miTurn right at Buffalo Speedway 0.6 mi Your preference?
  56. 56. Know yourselfKnow your audience Know your message Know your channels
  57. 57. Social/economic/ Spiritual educational Development experience Birth Order What Makes CulturePersonality Type and Them Them Temperament Gender Learning Style Phase of Life Generational Concerns
  58. 58. House = House = 43 95R & 55D freshman Texas Legislature = 59322560-Getting-To-Know-A- Local-Lawmaker-Rep.-Phil-19R & 11D Stephenson.html http://www.texas Senate=6 freshman ory/
  59. 59. Committee
  60. 60.
  61. 61. Know yourself Know your audienceKnow your message Know your channels
  62. 62. For every dollar spent on prevention you save $7 in intervention services72
  63. 63. 73
  64. 64. Know yourself Know your audience Know your messageKnow your channels
  65. 65. Public Testimony Personal Visits Letters Phone Calls m itte e Emails mCo
  66. 66. Press White Talking release / Website Facebook Twitter Other paper points Editorial e nt ativ r ese atorRep r Sen o e m itte m Co Staff e cat A dvo ic Publ
  67. 67. Email Not the most effective method of communicating with legislators Try not to send a letter as an attachment Use only when time is of the essence Contact your rep or Identify the message’s subject in the “Subject” line, e.g., House Bill 2 Do not “stuff” a legislator’s inbox – messages will be ignored the appropriate member of committee Provide personal info Briefly explain your perspective. Use facts and anecdotes. Use bill number. Don’t copy and paste the same email message “stuffing” the email box
  68. 68. Cause ◦ Members? Public? Legislators? (the “who” matters) ◦ Focus on purpose, not a person/politics  Engage/educate  Direct or grassroots lobbyingCautions – ◦ “Likes” and “Follows” ◦ Commitment of time, research, etc.ConsistencySee Alliance for Justice 78
  69. 69. Developing Issues
  70. 70. Organizational Strengths/Challenges
  71. 71. Legislative Priorities Housing for special populations Financial Stability Access to community-based mental health services Accountability, permanency for youth in child welfare system Financing for education Medicaid expansion, women’s health, immunizations health
  72. 72. Program/Policy ChallengesHealth & Human Services –related needs1,000 new peopleper day move to Texas2nd in nation withunder age 18 population7th in nation in childpoverty1 of every 4 Texans isuninsured - Highest numberin nation
  73. 73. Program/Policy ChallengesLow Taxes and LimitedGovernment  Texas is increasing sales of services, not products  ~25% General Revenue supports HHS, primarily Medicaid  Current budget did not recognize population growth or increased costs or utilization  $4 B shortfall (GR) in current budget for Medicaid ($12 B all funds)  Low reimbursement rates make it difficult to build capacity for critical Medicaid services
  74. 74. To Create Change:  Identify the problems  Find/suggest solutions  Advocate for changes
  75. 75. Advocates who attempt tofix everything run the risk of changing nothing in the process.
  76. 76. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.   Margaret Mead
  77. 77. Laurie Glaze, LMSWExecutive Director5120 Woodway Drive, Suite6000Houston, Texas 77056713.333.2232 (phone) Karen Campbell Communications 832.474.9008