Affecting Public Policy: Opportunities for All


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At the Alliance for Community Trees Annual Meeting (ACTrees Day) on November 13, 2012, in Sacramento, CA, guest speakers presented a panel session on effective advocacy techniques for urban forestry. Presenters included Connie Callippi of Conservation Strategy Group, Chuck Mills of California ReLeaf, and moderator Scott Fogarty of Friends of Trees. Learn more at

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Affecting Public Policy: Opportunities for All

  1. 1. “Affec?ng  Public  Policy:   Opportuni)es  for  All”   Moderator  ScoE  Fogarty,  Execu*ve  Director,  Friends  of  Trees     and  ACTrees  Policy  Commi-ee  Co-­‐Chair    •  Connie  Gallippi,  Sr.  Policy  Consultant  Conserva*on  Strategy  Group  •  Chuck  Mills,  Program  Mgr-­‐Grants,  CA  ReLeaf  and  ACTrees  Policy   Commi-ee  Co-­‐Chair  
  2. 2. Advocacy  in  your     Community   Tips  &  Techniques  Toward  Becoming  an  Effec*ve  Advocate  
  3. 3. Why  Advocate  Garner  support    Influence  Policy  Secure  Funding  
  4. 4. Characteris*cs  of  an     Effec*ve  Advocate   Knows  what  he/she  needs  Can  make  it  compelling  to  other  people   Can  relate  it  to  other  issues  
  5. 5. How  do  you  define  what  you  need?    Start  by  understanding  what  stands  between  you   and  success.  Is  it:  •  Permission  to  proceed?  •  More  people?    •  More  money?  Different  money?  (i.e.  do  you  need  a   bigger  slice  of  the  pie  or  a  different  pie?)  •  Policy  or  legisla*on?  •  Equipment  (capital  v.  opera*ng)?    •  Access  to  an  appropriate  site?  
  6. 6. How  do  you  describe  what  you  need?    •  Carefully  craq  your  language  •  Avoid  techno-­‐speak  and  acronyms  •  Keep  in  mind  your  audience  may  care  for   different  reasons    •  Use  words  that  are  proven  to  be  effec*ve  
  7. 7. How  to  be  Compelling  to  Others  •  Know  your  audience  •  Focus  on  benefits  of   your  project,  not   technical  details    •  Use  their  language  •  Solve  their  problem  
  8. 8. Change  the  topic  sentence   Be  part  of  something  BIGGER   such  as:     •  Climate  change     •  Stormwater     •  Sustainable  communi*es   •  Urban  greening   •  Energy  conserva*on   •  Air  pollu*on  reduc*on   •  Water  quality  improvement   •  Soil  reten*on   •  Pubic  health  
  9. 9. Who  is  your  audience?   Do  you  need:   Their   Their  money?   permission?   A  policy   Their  help?   change  or  new   legisla*on?  
  10. 10. The  Usual  Suspects  Local   State   Federal   Private   Mayor  and  City   Councilmembers   Assemblymember   Member  of   Business/ and   or  Senator   Congress   corporate  partners   Commissioners   Resource  /  County  Supervisors   Agency  such  as   Founda*ons  and   Conserva*on  /   and   USDA  Forest   other  private   Public  Works   Commissioners   Service  or  EPA   funders     Agencies   Agencies  such  as   Public  Works,   Other  NGOs   Parks,  Sanita*on  
  11. 11. The  Influencers   Chambers  of  Community   Organized   Commerce   Environmental   and  Business   Others   Groups   Labor   Groups  /  NGOs   Councils  
  12. 12. The  Oqen  Overlooked       Who?   Why  them?     Your  boss   Your  board   •  Advocacy  begins  at   home.   •  Ins*tu*onal  buy-­‐in  is  Your  boss’s   Your   essen*al  to  success,  and   boss   coworkers   without  it  external  advocacy   is  oqen  for  naught.  
  13. 13. The  Effec*ve  Advocate…     Cul*vates  rela*onships  before  he  or  she   needs  them    
  14. 14. The  Effec*ve  Advocate   Listens  as  much  or   Researches  his/her   more  than  he/she   audience   talks  •  Interests   •  The  applause  meter  •  Priori*es   goes  up  when  they  are  •  Programs   talking   •  The  more  they  talk,  the   more  you  learn  
  15. 15. Typical  Advocacy  Situa*ons  Meet  with  agency  representa*ves  Meet  with  elected  officials  Build  coali*ons  
  16. 16. When  is  the  best  *me  to  approach…        An  agency?      An  elected  official?   Prior  to  and  during  an  agency   Request  For  Proposals  (RFP)   Prior  to  a  Legisla*ve   process   Session   During  the  Legisla*ve  Session  if   When  agencies  are  preparing   you  need  changes  to  a  bill   budget  proposals   already  introduced  or  for   budget  ac*on   Note  that  these  *mes  are   Timelines  are  different  at   different  at  the  local,  state,  and   the  local,  state,  and   federal  level   federal  level  
  17. 17. Tips  for  working  with  agencies   How  much  MONEY  do   they  have  available  ?  Do  your  homework  to  understand  the   What  OTHER  PROJECTS  agencies  and   are  they  involved  in?  individuals   What  is  the  agency’s   AUTHORITY  and   jurisdic*on?  
  18. 18. Tips  for  working  with  elected  officials  Cul*vate  rela*onships  before  you  need  them  Approach  ALL  elected  officials  who  represent   your  region  Approach  those  that  serve  on  relevant  policy  or  budget  commi-ees  or  likely  allies  whether   or  not  they  happen  to  represent  your  area.  
  19. 19. Typical  Advocacy  Situa*ons  Start  with  program  or  field  staff  if  needed  15  minutes  max  –  be  prepared  and  organized    Show  how  your  needs/project  fits  into  their  vision  and  objec*ves  
  20. 20. Tips  for  Pitching  your  Project  Go  prepared   Solid  project  Bring  a  concise   Community  support  descrip*on  of  the  project    Bring  a  map  if   Complement  the  elected  appropriate   official’s  priori*es  
  21. 21. Tips  for  Pitching  your  Project  •  Invite  them  to  a   project  visit  •  Leave  behind  a   one-­‐pager  outlining   key  elements  of   your  project  
  22. 22. Coali*on  Building   Working  with  coali*ons  and  other  partners  can  be  a   great  way  to  gain  and  build  support  for  your  project     Public  Works   U*li*es   Water  Agencies   Agencies   Business   Environmental  Local  Nonprofits   Associa*ons/   Groups   Individuals  
  23. 23. Remember:    Your  program  is  only  important  to  you  …    un*l  others  validate  your  work.  A  coali*on  gives  you:   Credibility   Broad  support   Poli*cal  influence   A  be-er  story  to  tell   More  funding  opportuni*es   More  hands  to  do  the  work  
  24. 24.   Connie  Gallippi  Conserva*on  Strategy  Group   (926)  558-­‐1516  
  25. 25. Emerging Opportunities for Urban Forestry through Public Policy Chuck Mills
  26. 26. Emerging Opportunities at the Local Level:Urban Forestry as a Mitigation Tool •  Sacramento Tree Foundation •  Sacramento Metro AQMD •  US Forest Service
  27. 27. The Goal: Develop an urban forestry protocol to fit within a greenhouse gas exchange for emitters regulated under CEQA •  Revenue Stream •  Exportable Model •  Trees for Air Quality
  28. 28. Emerging Opportunities at the State Level:Urban Forestry to improve Water Quality •  California ReLeaf Network •  Statewide Partners •  State Legislature
  29. 29. The Goal: Add urban forestry to an $11 billion bondwritten in 2009 that will be trimmed by up to 50% in order to pass it off the 2014 ballot. •  Portfolio of related projects •  Coalition of Support •  In-District Visits
  30. 30. Emerging Opportunities at the Federal Level: Urban Forestry as part of America’s Mosaic •  Alliance for Community Trees •  U.S. Congress •  YOU!
  31. 31. The Goal: Augment U&CF Funding withinFarm Bill while Defending against Attacks on Existing Levels •  SUFC Support •  Coalition Building •  ACT Lobby Day
  32. 32. The Result: Money for Urban and Community Forestry at all Levels for all Reasons •  Engage! •  Use the Tools •  Build the Bridge