Toolbox pages: Scan by issue area
Where it starts
Advocacy doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and it doesn’t have to cost anything.
Our ulterior motive – to build an army of independent consumer advocates.
How it works
How to successfully navigate the legislative process, without wasting time.
Most healthcare policy is made by state agencies and the process is very different than legislation. Learn how to motivate and move administrators and agency staff.
Most healthcare initiatives need funding. State budgeting can seem complex and hidden but there are many opportunities to have an impact.
Skills and resources
Clear communication is critical to effective advocacy. Learn the basics of how to be heard and understood.
Government responds to the people. Learn how to move public opinion.
Be sure you’re asking for what you want, that your plan will work. Informed advocacy requires research.
More information on effective, efficient advocacy.
What advocacy is and why it matters.
Answers to questions submitted by potential advocates.
Wisdom from experienced advocates.
We’ve all made them. Saving you some time and frustration.
You’re going to need inside help.
Advocacy is hard work. Thoughtful celebrations keep us going.
Lobbying is a small subset of advocacy. Most advocates are not registered lobbyists.
Nuts and bolts
Prepare yourself -- it’s a long process and most bills don’t make it. But that’s OK. It should be hard to change the rules.
Links to help engage the people who make decisions.
Testifying can be intimidating but policymakers hold hearings because they need your input. Get the tools and tips to be heard and not waste time.
Elected officials read newspaper opinion pieces and letters to the editor religiously. It’s how they know what people are thinking.
Get tips to make these critical tools effective.
Extremely stressful, but in-person persuasion can be powerful.
Getting press on your issue builds credibility and amplifies your voice.
Phone and mail contact info for policymakers.
Phone calls allow you to learn what they are thinking and answer questions.
How to write a letter that will get read.
How to get a meeting and how to be effective.
Committees can be powerful, sometimes too powerful. Learn how to get on them and how to be effective when you do.
Laws are often guidelines. Regulations are the all-important details that determine if the program works.
A powerful tool and the best kept secret in advocacy. You have a right to information.
It’s a tough job. The system wouldn’t work without them. Treat them with care and respect.
They are just like you and me and they want to know what you think.
How to find and work with a group of other dedicated advocates.
If you’re lucky enough to have one, trust them. They are the experts.
Advocacy works better if people who care about your issue are elected.
Advocacy Decision Tree -- starting in the right place
A tool to help focus your efforts.
Finding answers to Decision Tree questions.
Even if your issue is not directly a government program, policymakers have influence.
Which level of government is responsible for your issue.
If there is, you can skip a very big step.
If there is a law, why isn’t it working?
Rules of the road for visiting the Capitol and Legislative Office Building.
This is a skip ahead page for those who know what they are looking for.