III Part Series: Advocacy
Part III: Developing Your Advocacy Plan
So, you did your preparation for your in-person meeting, and
the preparation paid off because you had a great meeting with the legislator
and/or staff. You felt they truly
listened to you, asked insightful questions, and remained engaged throughout
the meeting. You offered to serve as a
knowledge expert for the staff and be available as a resource.
Well, you are done now and can move on your next project,
Not so fast!
Ongoing follow-up is necessary for successful advocating. Recall the last handwritten note you received
and how much it meant to you? What a
lasting impression you will leave with the legislator and staff with a simple handwritten
note. Yes, a thank you email is ok, but take
the extra step of a thoughtful gracious handwritten thank you note. Additionally, reaching out every couple of
months to stay in touch with the staffer and keeping them updated is vital in
growing the relationship into an established long term one. Make sure to also
sign up for your legislator’s newsletter so you better understand their areas
of priority and perspective. Now that
you have mailed your handwritten thank you notes, what next steps do you need
to do? Staying up to date with current
and future legislation is a must as the political and legislative landscape is
constantly changing. Remember, both
state and federal legislation directly impact the lives of those living with or
at risk for diabetes. Subscribe to
legislative/advocacy forums through AADE and ADA to keep your knowledge up to
date on legislation impacting those living with or caring for those living with
I, just as many others do in their advocacy work, sometimes
wonder whether I am truly making a difference even after writing handwritten
note and signing up for the legislators’ newsletter. Recently, even after two visits with a
legislator’s staff member and proper follow up, I walked away without their support
as a co-sponsor of a diabetes related bill.
Am I giving up? Not all as this only strengthens my resolve. Also, the
legislator is now more educated on diabetes.
At both federal and state levels of government bills often take multiple
tries to final pass the appropriate committees, chambers and garner the needed
approvals prior to ending up on a Governor’s or President’s desk for
signing. Our role is to educate,
educate, educate – If we do, then those individuals living with diabetes will
be heard and eventually our consistency will payoff!
Don’t go at it alone!
Network and join others who are advocating. A great way to do this is participating in
Advocacy Days through AADE, ADA, Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition and
JDRF. Below I have provided links to
each of the previously mentioned organizations’ advocacy webpage.
Please share your thoughts and subscribe to receive my blogs.
#advocacy #AADE #ADA #JDRF #diabetespac
Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @ReecesPiecesDi and Instagram ReecesPiecesDI.