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How to Influence Domestic Violence Policy & Legislation Jill Morris, NCADV Public Policy Director Jen Winkelman, NCADV Public Policy Associate.

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Presentation on theme: "How to Influence Domestic Violence Policy & Legislation Jill Morris, NCADV Public Policy Director Jen Winkelman, NCADV Public Policy Associate."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Influence Domestic Violence Policy & Legislation Jill Morris, NCADV Public Policy Director Jen Winkelman, NCADV Public Policy Associate

2 NCADV Public Policy Office Introduction NCADV Public Policy Office How Public Policy Effects You Government Overview How YOU Can Get Involved Organizing in Your Community DVAM Resources Legislative Update

3 NCADV Public Policy Office The NCADV Public Policy Office National leader on Federal legislation and policy related to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Distribute legislative updates and action alerts to the advocacy field. Produce educational materials and resources for advocates and the general public.

4 NCADV Public Policy Office How Public Policy Effects You Creates criminal and civil laws Creates government programs and services Funds local programs (Appropriations) Regulates nonprofits, government agencies, business, etc. Develops trends for future policy, programs, etc.

5 NCADV Public Policy Office The Structure of Government Executive Branch President, Cabinet, and all agencies such as FBI, Dept of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development Judicial Branch Supreme Court and Federal Courts State and Local Govt Most state governments are similar to the Federal government, and have a House and Senate. Counties, cities and towns also have their own governing bodies. Legislative Branch The US Congress: House and Senate Each state has 2 Senators (100) and House representation is determined by state population.

6 NCADV Public Policy Office Congressional Staff Chief of Staff: reports directly to Member and supervises all aspects of staff. Legislative Assistant: focus on specific issues and meet with constituents. Scheduler: creates the Members schedule and answers requests for appointments. Caseworker: respond to constituent requests and are located in district offices.

7 NCADV Public Policy Office How a Bill Becomes a Law The Senate Legislation is introduced in the Senate. The bill is assigned a number and sent to a committee and possibly a subcommittee. Subcommittees and committees hold public hearings on the bill, make changes, and vote on the bill. If the bill passes out of committee, the Senate leadership schedules the debate and determines the rules for debate. The bill is debated and voted on. If the bill passes, it is sent to the House or to a conference committee to resolve difference with an already existing House bill. The House Legislation is introduced in the House. The bill is assigned a number and sent to a committee and possibly a subcommittee. Subcommittees and committees hold public hearing on the bill, make changes, and vote on the bill. If the bill passes out of committee, it goes to the Rules Committee to determine limits on debate and amendments. The bill is debated and voted on. If the bill passes, it is sent to the Senate or to a conference committee to resolve difference with an already existing Senate bill.

8 NCADV Public Policy Office How YOU Can Be Involved in the Legislative Process and Positively Impact Domestic Violence Public Policy

9 NCADV Public Policy Office Contact your Members of Congress About Domestic Violence Issues As a constituent, you need to tell your Member about the services you offer. Provide statistics about the victims you serve. Tell your Member about your funding needs. Describe your programs and success. Provide client stories.

10 NCADV Public Policy Office ACTION ITEM Write a letter, FAX or . Obtain sample letters from the NCADV Legislative Action Guide (LAG) or Website. Provide local information. Include supporting documents, news stories, etc. Keep letters brief and concise (1-2 pages) Locate contact information at (mailed letters will not be received for 2 months)www.congress.org

11 NCADV Public Policy Office ACTION ITEM Make a phone call Phone calls are best for time sensitive policy issues. Ask to speak to the staffer handling the issue. State that you are a constituent and tell where you live. Briefly state why youre calling, what you wish the Member to do, and why its important to the community.

12 NCADV Public Policy Office ACTION ITEM Meet with your Member or staffer Schedule an appointment in your district office; say youre a constituent. Explain why a piece of legislation is important to your program and how it effects the community. Bring a prepared written statement, news articles, program description, statistics, etc. Follow up the meeting with a Thank You letter. - Thank you letters can be found in the NCADV LAG or on the NCADV website.

13 NCADV Public Policy Office Organize in Your Community You can impact public policy by raising awareness in your community about domestic violence.

14 NCADV Public Policy Office ACTION ITEM Write a Letter to the Editor Congressional staff read local papers every day. Obtain a sample letter from the NCADV LAG or website. Research the requirements for Letter to the Editor in your local paper, and comply with all formatting and word limits. Write how your issue effects the community. Cite statistics. Keep your letters focused and on point. Send a copy of the letter to your Legislators.

15 NCADV Public Policy Office ORGANIZE DVAM EVENTS October is great time to raise awareness Host a candle light vigil, charity walk or rally Participate in a cell phone collection drive Distribute purple ribbons, hotline cards and posters Write letters to the editor Sponsor a teen dating violence essay or art contest INVITE LOCAL & STATE Legislators and MEMBERS of CONGRESS to your events!

16 NCADV Public Policy Office ACTION ITEM Have an event at your facility and invite your Member of Congress Plan an open house or other event at your facility or a public venue during DVAM to honor victims and advocates. Call your Members scheduler well in advance and invite the Member. Also send a written invitation. Contact your local media outlets and ask them to cover your event. Plan a program that highlight your success, celebrate survivors and remembers victims.

17 NCADV Public Policy Office RESOURCES US Capitol Switchboard (202) NCADV PPO (202)

18 NCADV Public Policy Office How Can You Use These Tools Today??? Update on Current Legislation/Events VAWA Appropriations DVAM Events Elections

19 NCADV Public Policy Office Anecdotes HA thousand hand written letters HClogging up the switchboard HOne victim, one letter, one very important law. HWomens March April 2004

20 NCADV Public Policy Office Contact Us (please!) (202) Fax: (202)


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