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The Art of Advocacy Find Your Voice: Become an Effective Child & Youth Advocate February 4 th.

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Presentation on theme: "The Art of Advocacy Find Your Voice: Become an Effective Child & Youth Advocate February 4 th."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Art of Advocacy Find Your Voice: Become an Effective Child & Youth Advocate February 4 th

2 The Art of Advocacy… Session Schedule: 1:00 – 1:10 Introductions 1:10 – 1:55 The Government Relations (GR)/Advocacy Process 1:55 – 2:30 Breakout Groups/Scenario Analysis 2:30 – 2:45 Coffee 2:45 – 3:15 Issues Discussion/Q&A 3:15 – 4:00 Election Strategies for Advocates 2

3 3 Advocacy vs. Lobbying When organizations advocate, they seek to affect some aspect of society, whether they appeal to individuals about their behavior, employers about their rules, or the government about its programs. Lobbying generally refers specifically to attempts to influence government decisions that is more rooted in self-interest.

4 4 Characteristics of Advocacy Pro: There is an inherent legitimacy/validation when intervening for someone else!!! Con: In most case, the group being advocated for is not a direct player on the political playing field

5 5 Definition of Advocacy (GR) Communications with Decision-Makers to effect Outcomes (What?/When?) (Who?) (Why?)

6 6 Why is GR Important? Pythagorean Theorem Gettysburg Address Declaration of Independence Charter of Rights & Freedoms ,300 2,609

7 7 Why is GR Important? Regulation on the sale of cabbage…….. 26,911 Words!!!!!!!

8 8 Why is GR Important? Think in terms of this phrase… You are either at the Table… Or You are on the Menu…

9 9 GR –Shift From… As taxpaying citizen you expect your government(s) to fulfill certain responsibilities and evaluate governmental actions it terms of Wrong or Right

10 10 GR –Shift To… As a person acting in the interests of an Organization/Association you need to view government(s) as rulemaker and view governmental actions through a lens of Losers & Winners

11 11 For every action… In government, nothing happens in a vacuum. Once you determine what you are “Asking” government for, you need to review who the other “Winners” would be and who the “Losers” would be. Always anticipate “Pushback”

12 12 GR Process Basics 1.Clearly Define your “Ask”! 2.Align Interests (“Winners”) 3.Anticipate Pushback (“Losers) 4.Intervene as early as possible

13 13 Components of a GR Program Government Activity Monitoring Communications Contact Programs Issue Intervention Events

14 14 Government Activity Monitoring The key consideration here is timeliness. The sooner you can identify an issue of potential concern the greater your chances of effecting the outcome.

15 15 Important Sources Campaign Platform Documents Speech From the Throne Budget Speech Departmental Plans and Priorities Ministerial Statements and Speeches Speeches by Senior Public Servants House and Committee Statements

16 16 Communications You have to be RIGHT, in the RIGHT way, with the RIGHT person, at the RIGHT time.

17 17 Partisan vs. Political Actions At the foundation of Partisan Action is the notion of “us” vs. “them” with a overlay of “good” vs. “bad” Political Action involves building ongoing relationships with all players that is driven by facts and aligns interests

18 18 Being Right….. Be factual, spin is tolerated but dishonesty is not. Put your argument in the best light possible, “Winners & Losers” provides more opportunity than “Right or Wrong” to stretch your argument(s).

19 19 In the Right Way… 1.Is this a bureaucratic or political decision? 2.Does it require legislative, regulatory or Order in Council (OIC)? 3.Speak Their Language 4.Understand Their Situation

20 20 With the Right Person… Provincial, Federal & Municipal governments generally maintain an online directory (database) of all staff. You can search by: Name Department Position Etc.

21 21 At the Right Time… If you understand the financial, legislative and electoral cycles of government, you will be able to align your ask/intervention with the decision-makers requirements, timelines and deadlines.

22 22 Contact Programs Find your Natural Allies Know your Respective Ministers/Parliamentary Secretaries/Critics Know your Legislative Committee(s) Identify Key Bureaucrats

23 What is Your Point? Most overlooked, minimized and under-valued question in the GR process…..

24 24 Issue Intervention Your “Point” should include: Rationale for change you are seeking Clear and realistic “Ask” Reference to change mechanism/process

25 25 Issue Intervention Never do any heavy lifting by yourself Strength in numbers (Blowfish) Use the media wisely

26 26 Events Great potential for creative strategy Increased Importance given new lobby rules Provide Profile for key elected officials

27 27 The Government Relations (GR) Process 1)Determine your existing/potential points of contact with regulatory framework(s) and monitor the activities of government(s) 2)Identify potential friction points or areas for action 3)Determine the key “Asks” and points of resistance. Align interests of “Winners” and anticipate “Pushback” from “Losers” 4)Develop strategies for intervention and monitor outcomes against identified GR objectives

28 Breakout Groups/Scenario Analysis Group #1: Housing as a Health Issue Group #2: Critical Hours and Recreation Access Group #3: Child Poverty Group #4: Rural Youth Housing and Homelessness Group #5: School Readiness Group #6: Literacy Gap 28


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