Toolbox pages: Scan by issue area

Health Advocacy Home page

Where it starts

If you only have five minutes            

Advocacy doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and it doesn’t have to cost anything.

Who We Are and Why We Did This  

Our ulterior motive – to build an army of independent consumer advocates.

How it works

Legislative Advocacy

How to successfully navigate the legislative process, without wasting time.

Administrative Advocacy

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.

Connecticut’s Budget Process            

Most healthcare initiatives need funding. State budgeting can seem complex and hidden but there are many opportunities to have an impact.

Skills and resources

Effective communication       

Clear communication is critical to effective advocacy. Learn the basics of how to be heard and understood.

Changing public opinion                    

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.

Recommended reading         

More information on effective, efficient advocacy.


Advocacy explained

What advocacy is and why it matters.

Your questions answered      

Answers to questions submitted by potential advocates.

Tips no advocate should forget                     

Wisdom from experienced advocates.

Common advocates’ mistakes           

We’ve all made them. Saving you some time and frustration.


You’re going to need inside help.

Social media for advocates

How to navigate and harness social media for your advocacy.

This is how I do Twitter -- YMMV

From Kathy Flaherty, Executive Director of the Connecticut Legal Project and a Twitter maven


Advocacy is hard work. Thoughtful celebrations keep us going.

Lobbying vs. Advocacy                       

Lobbying is a small subset of advocacy. Most advocates are not registered lobbyists.

Archive – Tool of the Day

Daily emails through November 2020 each featuring a Tool. Provides a roadmap through Advocacy.

Nuts and bolts

How a bill becomes a law      

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.

Engaging policymakers          

Links to help engage the people who make decisions.

How to testify at a public hearing                 

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.

Op-eds and letters to the editor                    

Elected officials read newspaper opinion pieces and letters to the editor religiously. It’s how they know what people are thinking.

Fact sheets and alerts            

Get tips to make these critical tools effective.

Public speaking tips               

Extremely stressful, but in-person persuasion can be powerful.

Tips for talking with reporters                       

Getting press on your issue builds credibility and amplifies your voice.

How to contact elected officials                    

Phone and mail contact info for policymakers.

Calling a policymaker

Phone calls allow you to learn what they are thinking and answer questions.

Writing to policymakers        

How to write a letter that will get read.

Visiting with a policymaker   

How to get a meeting and how to be effective.

Joining a State Taskforce or Committee       

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.

Freedom of Information        

A powerful tool and the best kept secret in advocacy. You have a right to information.

Importance of legislative staff           

It’s a tough job. The system wouldn’t work without them. Treat them with care and respect.

Legislators – who are they?

They are just like you and me and they want to know what you think.

Coalitions and collaboration 

How to find and work with a group of other dedicated advocates.

How to work with a lobbyist 

If you’re lucky enough to have one, trust them. They are the experts.

Working with political campaigns     

Advocacy works better if people who care about your issue are elected.         

Advocacy Decision Tree -- starting in the right place          

Advocacy Decision Tree         

A tool to help focus your efforts.

Decision Tree: Research tips  

Finding answers to Decision Tree questions.

Decision Tree: Government or private?                    

Even if your issue is not directly a government program, policymakers have influence.

Decision Tree: Federal, state or local?

Which level of government is responsible for your issue.

Decision Tree: Is there a law?            

If there is, you can skip a very big step.

Decision Tree: Enforcement              

If there is a law, why isn’t it working?

Specific tools

Navigating the Capitol and LOB                       

Rules of the road for visiting the Capitol and Legislative Office Building.

Tools and Templates 

This is a skip ahead page for those who know what they are looking for.

Tracking a bill 

Video -- How to search Connecticut statutes

Script for calling a policymaker

Policymaker survey

Sample letter opposing an issue

Sample letter supporting an issue

Sample letter raising an issue            

Sample fact sheet 1   

Sample fact sheet 2

Sample public hearing testimony      

Aerial view of Capitol and LOB with parking

Map of the Legislative Office Building with helpful resources