Dynamic Grassroots Advocacy


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Dynamic Grassroots Advocacy

  1. 1. Dynamic Grassroots Advocacy<br />John Segota<br />Director of Advocacy and Professional Relations<br />Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc.<br />Alexandria, VA<br />1<br />
  2. 2. Strengthen Your Voice<br />Educate<br />Organize <br />Advocate<br />2<br />
  3. 3. Guiding Questions<br />What?<br />Issues<br />Goals<br />Rules<br />Who?<br />Decision Makers<br />Allies<br />Colleagues<br />How?<br />Communication<br />Testimony<br />Meetings<br />When?<br />Timelines<br />Deadlines<br />3<br />
  4. 4. Issues<br />What are the issues at your place of work?<br />What are the issues in your community?<br />What is happening at the state level that might affect your program?<br />What is happening federally that may affect your program?<br />4<br />
  5. 5. Educate<br />What are the issues? What are the specific details of the issues?<br />Who will you be dealing with? <br />Decision makers? An agency<br />How do you interact with them?<br />Who do you need to educate on the issues?<br />How will you educate them?<br />5<br />
  6. 6. Educate – How?<br />Articles in Newsletters<br />Presentations<br />Mailings<br />Action Alerts<br />Position Statements<br />E-mail lists<br />Letters to the editor <br />Community newspapers<br />PTA Meetings<br />School board meetings<br />6<br />
  7. 7. Organize<br />Identify the issues<br />Analyze it – break it down! <br />What are the specific causes?<br />Identify possible goals<br />What do you want to accomplish?<br />What is the process to reach the goal?<br />Develop a plan of action<br />7<br />
  8. 8. Organize<br />Your Network<br />Who?<br />Affiliate? Committee? Organization? Colleagues? Coalition?<br />How?<br />Membership lists, interest groups, e-mail lists<br />Districts, key contacts<br />Allies<br />Other organizations<br />“Champions”<br />8<br />
  9. 9. Activate<br />Messages to key decision makers<br />Phone calls<br />Faxes<br />Meetings<br />Testimony<br />Speeches<br />Mailings<br />Press Releases<br />Position Statements<br />Press Conferences<br />Media outreach<br />9<br />
  10. 10. Using the Media<br />Letters to the editor<br />Press releases<br />Events<br />Statements / positions<br />Get to know key reporters<br />Tie your story ideas to broader issues<br />Know the right way to reach the media<br />10<br />
  11. 11. Decision Makers/Leaders<br />Who makes the decisions that affect your classroom?<br />Who makes the decisions that affect your school/district?<br />Who makes the decisions that affect your institution?<br />11<br />
  12. 12. Legislative Process<br />Introduction<br />Referral to Committee<br />Hearings and Markup<br />Committee Action<br />Floor Consideration<br />Referral to other chamber <br />Conference Committee<br />President’s signature<br />12<br />
  13. 13. Communicating with Congress<br />Most effective<br />Meetings<br />Personal messages*<br />Faxes<br />E-mail / web forms<br />Phone calls<br />District office<br />Washington office<br />Less effective<br />Mass mailings<br />Form letters<br />Postal mail<br />Postcards<br />Petitions<br />13<br />
  14. 14. Letter-writing to Congress<br />Identify yourself as a constituent.<br />Address the legislator appropriately.<br />Be polite.<br />Identify the issue – one per letter.<br />Provide background and facts.<br />Personalize the issue!<br />Be specific about what you want your legislator to do.<br />Offer to discuss the issue further.<br />Request a response.<br />14<br />
  15. 15. Follow-up your letter<br />Double-decker approach: make a phone call, especially if you have not received a reply.<br />If your legislator makes an action that reflects your position, thank them.<br />Offer to provide additional information.<br />Send copies of correspondence to TESOL.<br />15<br />
  16. 16. Tips for a campaign<br />Strike early and often<br />Identify allies. Establish and nurture relationships with them. Identify them to their colleagues.<br />Go for quantity and quality (i.e. personal messages.)<br />Have follow-up communication.<br />16<br />
  17. 17. Meeting with Congress<br />Be prepared – do your homework.<br />Establish a common denominator<br />Be concise, specific, clear, and reasonable.<br />Humanize the issue<br />Provide written materials.<br />“Close the sale.”<br />Follow up promptly. <br />Let TESOL know!<br />17<br />
  18. 18. Building Relationships<br />Get to know the staff in their offices.<br />Find common denominators.<br />Arrange a reception or luncheon to honor the official.<br />Invite the official to speak at meetings or conferences.<br />Recognize the official’s efforts in newsletter or in letter to the editor.<br />Volunteer in the official’s re-election campaign.<br />18<br />
  19. 19. Using the Internet<br />TESOL’s U.S. Advocacy Action Center<br />http://capwiz.com/tesol<br />http://www.senate.gov<br />http://www.house.gov<br />http://thomas.loc.gov<br />19<br />
  20. 20. 20<br />