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Advocacy 101: Agency Capacity-Building Training

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

2 The three legged stool of advocacy Engaging with elected officials
Training Agenda 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

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

5 About the Food Bank 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.

6 About the Food Bank 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.

7 About the Food Bank 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.

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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)
What is advocacy? 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?

12 advocacy (n.) (The American Heritage Dictionary)
What is advocacy? 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) One who pleads another’s cause One who argues or pleads for a cause or proposal

13 What is advocacy?

14 Advocacy Roadblocks 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?

15 Why should your agency care about advocacy?
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.

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.pdf

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

18 Public Policy: Advocacy vs. Lobbying

19 Non-Lobbying Advocacy
“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

20 Public Policy - Direct Lobbying
“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

21 Grassroots Lobbying / Mobilization
“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

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 Up to 5% of first $500K IRS imposes limits on the level of lobbying activity Public charities may engage in a limited amount of legislative lobbying under either the “substantial part” test or by electing to operate under the Section 501(h) election of the tax code IRS evaluates the “substantial part” test on the basis of the fact and circumstances, such as the time (by both paid and volunteer workers) and the expenditures devoted to lobbying by the organization Under the 501(h) election, public charities may spend 20% of the first $500K of its exempt purpose expenditures ($100K) and 15% of the next $500K on Direct Lobbying 5% of the first $500K of its exempt purpose expenditures, and 3.75% of the next $500K, and so on, on Grassroots Lobbying Remember, every charitable non-profit is allowed to engage in some lobbying activities

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 Media Advocacy “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 Need help? Contact Jonathan Fuller, Community and Public Relations Manager at the Food Bank, x4023

27 Engaging with elected officials

28 Civics Review 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.

29 Local, State, and Federal Policy
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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

42 NY State Districts

43 The Advocacy “Menu” 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

44 Engaging with Elected Officials
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

45 How to engage elected officials
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

46 Getting to know your elected officials
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.”

47 Study the issue 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)

48 In-person Meeting 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

49 Leave-behind Packet 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

50 Tips for meeting with elected officials
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

51 Tips for meeting with elected officials
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

52 Tips for writing letters
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

53 Tips for Phone Calls 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-0GPc

54 Client Engagement Advocacy
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

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56 Statistical Resources

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

58 Brainstorm Your Own Advocacy Campaign

59 Brainstorm Activity 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?

60 Next Steps

61 How You Can Be an Advocate

62 Takeaways 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?

63 Questions?

64 Food Bank of the Southern Tier 388 Upper Oakwood Avenue
Lyndsey Lyman Agency Outreach Coordinator Randi Lynn Quackenbush Community Engagement Coordinator Food Bank of the Southern Tier 388 Upper Oakwood Avenue Elmira, New York 14903 ext fax: A regional agency of Catholic Charities and a Member of Feeding America


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