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Advocacy 101: Agency Capacity-Building Training Lyndsey Lyman Agency Outreach Coordinator Randi Lynn.

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Presentation on theme: "Advocacy 101: Agency Capacity-Building Training Lyndsey Lyman Agency Outreach Coordinator Randi Lynn."— Presentation transcript:

1 Advocacy 101: Agency Capacity-Building Training Lyndsey Lyman Agency Outreach Coordinator Randi Lynn Quackenbush Community Engagement Coordinator a regional agency of Catholic Charities and a member of Feeding America

2 Introductions What is advocacy? The three legged stool of advocacy (public policy, grassroots, media) Engaging with elected officials Statistical resources Brainstorm your own advocacy campaign Next steps Training Agenda

3 “Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth.” ― William Faulkner

4 Lyndsey: Agency Outreach Coordinator Randi: Community Engagement Coordinator About us – FBST Advocacy Committee

5 The Food Bank is a regional agency of Catholic Charities and a member of Feeding America. Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charity. Their network of more than 200 food banks across the United States provide food to more than 25 million Americans each year. About the Food Bank

6 In operation since 1981, the Food Bank proudly serves the six counties of Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins. The Food Bank’s network of over 160 hunger-relief agencies includes soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and other non-profit organizations. About the Food Bank

7 Each week, the Food Bank’s hunger- relief network serves more than 11,000 individuals. Last year, one out of four residents in the Southern Tier received some kind of assistance from the Food Bank. How much food does the Food Bank give out? – In 2013, the Food Bank distributed nearly 9.7 million pounds of food. That is the equivalent of 8.1 million meals. About the Food Bank

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9 Here are the top issues that came out of the AM brainstorming session for each element of the pyramid and prompted afternoon discussion: Advocacy: Advocate with elected officials- educate about changing face of hunger. Get decision makers to pantries, kitchens, etc. to see for themselves Train agency volunteers to be advocates – help fill out paperwork, connect to other resources, lobby, etc. Create storytelling campaigns to show experiences of people who are hungry, realities about who is hungry Help with referrals 1. Need to know about resources available 2. Needs to be updated – which still operating, which still have resources available Advocacy: How agencies would like FBST to help (based on afternoon session notes) Help coordinate in-person meetings and tour with elected officials & other decision makers at agencies Create tools for training volunteers in advocacy Storytelling campaigns

10 What is advocacy?

11 Brainstorming Session (in groups of 2) 1.) What do you think of when you hear the word “advocacy?” 2.) What does it mean to be a concerned citizen? 3.) Why do you think our “decision-makers” listen? What is advocacy?

12 advocacy (n.) (The American Heritage Dictionary) 1. The act of pleading or arguing in favor of something, such as a cause, idea, or policy; active support. advocate (n.) (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) 1.One who pleads another’s cause 2.One who argues or pleads for a cause or proposal What is advocacy?

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14 What is currently preventing you from engaging in advocacy? Lack of comfort with advocacy process Lack of knowledge with the issue(s) Lack of time / staff Lack of focus It doesn’t make a difference, so why bother? Advocacy Roadblocks

15 You are the voices of hunger: As a food pantry, you are on the front lines of the issue of hunger and have unique insight into the current situation. YOU are the experts and should be the ones to shape public policy and dialogue around the issues. Your voice matters: It is your responsibility: If not you, then who? Having everyone participate in advocacy will ensure our voices are heard. Funding is limited and you need to make sure the issues you care about are a priority when budget decisions are being made. Your wisdom brings credibility to the issues and are most often seen as working on behalf of others. No one else may be advocating for your clients. Why should your agency care about advocacy?

16 It works! 2011 Congressional Management Foundation, based on a survey of more than 250 congressional staff (http://pmpu.org/wp- content/uploads/CWC-Perceptions-of-Citizen-Advocacy.pdfhttp://pmpu.org/wp- content/uploads/CWC-Perceptions-of-Citizen-Advocacy.pdf

17 The Three Legged Stool of Advocacy (public policy, grassroots, media)

18 Public Policy: Advocacy vs. Lobbying

19 “Non-lobbying” advocacy: educating public officials without asking for anything Examples: Providing statistics on meals served by your program this year compared to last year Meeting with a legislator’s office to discuss your program, its mission, and the services you provide in their district Hosting a legislator to tour your program Non-Lobbying Advocacy

20 “Direct”: Contacting any legislative member, staff, or government employee to influence him/her to propose, support, or oppose specific legislation Examples: ing a member of Congress to vote NO on the Farm Bill If a budget bill is introduced that cuts HPNAP funding, speaking out against that funding cut measure to a legislative staff member Asking a member of Congress to support a bill renewing food donation tax incentives Public Policy - Direct Lobbying

21 “Grassroots”: Trying to persuade the public to share your views on a particular legislative proposal and to act. Examples: Asking your donors and clients to call their legislators to support the Governor’s budget proposal for HPNAP Encouraging clients to sign a petition in favor of increased funding for TEFAP Sending an action alert to a listserv to encourage them to their member of Congress and telling them to vote NO on the Farm Bill Grassroots Lobbying / Mobilization

22 Why the Differences are Important Non-Lobbying Advocacy Direct Lobbying Grassroots Lobbying No IRS limitations Must amount to “insubstantial” amount of activities Up to 20% of first $500K Must amount to “insubstantial” amount of activities Up to 5% of first $500K

23 Pop Quiz: Direct, Grassroots, or Not Lobbying You schedule a site visit with your county executive to educate her about your programs and show the impact your agency is having on the community. NOT LOBBYING!

24 Pop Quiz: Direct, Grassroots, or Not Lobbying You send a letter to your U.S. Senator asking him to support S when it comes to a vote next week. DIRECT LOBBYING!

25 Pop Quiz: Direct, Grassroots, or Not Lobbying You send out an action alert to the public urging them to call their representatives and voice support for a proposed increase in funding for housing programs. GRASSROOTS LOBBYING!

26 “Traditional” media News releases Media “tip sheets” Op-Ed pieces & Letters to the editor Radio interviews TV coverage of “visual” events “Social Media” Opportunities Build your own communities Keep them informed – send out action alerts Grow presence among new demographics Mobilize action Create dialogue Media Advocacy Need help? Contact Jonathan Fuller, Community and Public Relations Manager at the Food Bank, x4023

27 Engaging with elected officials

28 We are a representative democracy. Representative democracy is founded on the principle of elected officials representing a group of people. To be represented, you must be heard. To be heard, you must speak. To speak well, you need to know your group’s message. Civics Review

29 Local government: town, city, county – 62 counties in NY New York State Government (Albany) – NYS Assembly (150 assemblymen/women) – NYS Senate (63 state senators) Federal Government (Washington DC) – 435 Representatives (1-53 per state) – 100 Senators (2 per state) Local, State, and Federal Policy

30 QUIZ: Who are our US senators? Senator Charles Schumer Senator Kirsten Gillibrand US Senators

31 QUIZ: What is your Congressional District? Who is your Congressman? US Congressional Districts Congressman Tom Reed (23 rd district: Chemung, Steuben, Schuyler, Tompkins, Tioga)

32 QUIZ: What is your Congressional District? Who is your Congressman? US Congressional Districts Congressman Tom Reed (23 rd district: Chemung, Steuben, Schuyler, Tompkins, Tioga) Congressman Richard Hanna (22 nd district: Broome, parts of Tioga)

33 New York State Senators- Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler State Senator Tom O’Mara (58 th district)

34 New York State Senators-Tompkins State Senator James Seward (51 st district) State Senator Michael Nozzolio (54 th district)

35 New York State Senators-Tioga and Broome State Senator Thomas Libous (52 nd district)

36 NY State Assembly Chris Friend: 124th (Chemung, Tioga)

37 NY State Assembly Members-Chemung Phil Palmesano: 132 nd (northern Chemung) Chris Friend: 124th (Horseheads, Elmira)

38 NY State Assembly Phil Palmesano: 132 nd (Corning area) Bill Nojay: 133 rd (Hornell) Joseph Giglio: 148 th (Jasper)

39 NY State Assembly-Schuyler Phil Palmesano: 132 nd (Schuyler)

40 NY State Assembly-Tompkins Barbara Lifton: 125 th (Tompkins)

41 NY State Assembly- Broome Chris Friend: 124th (Town of Maine) Donna Lupardo: 123 rd (Binghamton area) Clifford Crouch: 122 nd (rest of Broome)

42 NY State Districts

43 Appetizers - s, mail and phone calls to legislators -Social media action alerts Lunch Specials -Visit legislators and staff, either in district or at capitol -Build relationships with policy makers and their staff -Have legislators visit your agency Entrees -Gather stories for advocacy -Involve clients in advocacy -Organize staff and clients at hearings, rallies, action days The Advocacy “Menu”

44 Build personal relationships (local, state & federal) Stay in regular communication Get to know their legislative staff Attend local county board and municipal meetings Keep them informed on the issues Engaging with Elected Officials

45 Invite them to tour your agency! Tips for a Successful Tour: Line up tour date with staff Invite local officials Send written invites Keep tour short Be accommodating Invite the media and let officials know! Prepare and provide an agenda and any supporting materials Be knowledgeable about state, local issues How to engage elected officials

46 Do your homework online by reviewing their website Political Life Who is this person as a representative? Geographic and demographic area they represent? Term in office? Platform? Major issues and concerns? Voting record? Committee assignments? Staff members? Personal Life Who is this person? Spouse? Children? Relate this information to the issue to make a more personal presentation. Do your homework in person by meeting your representative to introduce yourself and build relationships The most effective approach to advocate is through building relationships “The key to successful advocacy with each audience is to develop a relationship based on honesty, trust, and a command of the issues.” Getting to know your elected officials

47 Study websites, educational magazines, and journals – What has been tried before? – What are both sides of the issue? Talk to others – Who is affected by the issue or the solution? – Where do your colleagues stand? Develop your “elevator pitch” – Connect it to the representative’s life – Connect it to your life (Make your presentation personal) Study the issue

48 Visit with your representative at the Capitol or in his/her home office Schedule an appointment and inform the office about the reason for requesting the meeting – Most meetings last 15 to 20 minutes Prepare for the meeting – Study the issues – Prepare one-page “leave-behind” about your organization During the meeting – Introduce yourself and exchange business cards – State the issue that concerns you (Why and how it affects you?) – State the action that you want the representative to take. Ask for them to commit to support the bill. – Thank the representative or aide After the meeting – Follow up with a phone call, , or letter thanking the representative for meeting with you – Offer another personal visit for more information In-person Meeting

49 Members and staff are happy to accept a “leave-behind packet” from your agency. This packet should include: A “One-Pager” on your organization. Your one-pager should include a brief history of your organization, mission statement, some notable impacts of your work, a look ahead at future objectives, and (optionally) a short list of what the Member can do to help you reach those objectives. Food Bank area fact sheets Any materials you’ve developed about your organization, including brochures, mission statement, etc. Recent articles on your organization Business cards and contact information Leave-behind Packet

50 DO: Schedule your appointment well in advance Be punctual for your meeting Dress appropriately for the occasion Prepare adequate materials, handouts and a brief “leave-behind Stay focused on your issue Provide relevant, specific examples from the legislator’s home district Follow up after your meeting to answer any questions or unresolved issues DON’T: Show up 15 minutes late Talk about your recent doctor’s appointment Wear your work boots Bring everyone you know to the meeting Get upset if you only get to meet with staff Wear out your welcome Mix personal and professional agenda Tips for meeting with elected officials

51 DO: Schedule your appointment well in advance Be punctual for your meeting Dress appropriately for the occasion Prepare adequate materials, handouts and a brief “leave-behind Stay focused on your issue Provide relevant, specific examples from the legislator’s home district Follow up after your meeting to answer any questions or unresolved issues DON’T: Show up 15 minutes late Talk about your recent doctor’s appointment Wear your work boots Bring everyone you know to the meeting Get upset if you only get to meet with staff Wear out your welcome Mix personal and professional agenda Tips for meeting with elected officials

52 Send original communications instead of mass-produced ones Communicate in a variety of ways – Phone the representative to learn the preferred method of communication Include these parts in your one-page letter – Your name, address, and telephone number – The issue that concerns you (Why and how it affects you?) Refer to the bill number – The action that you want the representative to take Other ideas to remember – Keep it short, focused, positive, polite, business-like – Avoid educational jargon – Proof your letter and write well – Don’t go overboard with your passion and zeal Tips for writing letters

53 Phone calls are an effective and fast way to communicate, especially when a critical vote is coming up Your previous nurtured relationship with your representative will pay dividends Include these parts in your phone conversation – Ask to speak to the representative Probably will speak to receptionist or aide, who is tallying constituents’ votes for and against an issue – Your name, address, and telephone number – The issue that concerns you (Why and how it affects you?) Refer to the bill number – The action that you want the representative to take – Watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8d9An-0GPchttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8d9An-0GPc Tips for Phone Calls

54 Voter Registration Drive An estimated 70-80% of low-income voters will not vote in this fall’s midterm election Paper plate campaign Sharing Stories Client Engagement Advocacy

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56 Statistical Resources

57 Food Bank fact sheets NYSCAA poverty profiles Map the Meal Gap (Feeding America) meal-gap.aspx Cornell County Profiles (US Census info)http://pad.human.cornell.edu/profiles/ American Community Survey (US Census) New York Times Mapping Poverty in America Slate’s Food Stamp Usage tracker tamp_recipients_by_county_an_interactive_tool_showing_local_snap_data.html tamp_recipients_by_county_an_interactive_tool_showing_local_snap_data.html Need stats?

58 Brainstorm Your Own Advocacy Campaign

59 What is a current issue your agency is faced with? Which of your elected officials would be most helpful in solving this problem? How can you begin to address this issue with their help? Brainstorm Activity

60 Next Steps

61 How You Can Be an Advocate Know your role Know what you can & can’t do Know your legislators Know your facts Know the process Communication

62 What are you taking home with you after this training? What’s one thing you can do in the next month to advocate for your agency? How can the Food Bank help you? Takeaways

63 Questions?

64 Food Bank of the Southern Tier 388 Upper Oakwood Avenue Elmira, New York ext fax: Lyndsey Lyman Agency Outreach Coordinator Randi Lynn Quackenbush Community Engagement Coordinator A regional agency of Catholic Charities and a Member of Feeding America


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