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Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development 1 2012 ACA Institute for Leadership Training: Lobbying Visit Preparation Conference call – June 13 th.

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Presentation on theme: "Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development 1 2012 ACA Institute for Leadership Training: Lobbying Visit Preparation Conference call – June 13 th."— Presentation transcript:

1 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development ACA Institute for Leadership Training: Lobbying Visit Preparation Conference call – June 13 th ACA Office of Public Policy and Legislation

2 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development Goals of this call Explain why your lobbying visits are so important Walk through what’s going to happen between now and July 27 th Walk through what’s going to happen July 27 th Show you how to identify your Representative, so you can let us know who it is, and Walk you through requesting a meeting with your Representative Walk you through requesting a meeting with your Representative Provide background on the VA and school counseling issues you’ll be talking about in your lobbying visits Q&A 2

3 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development Constituents are listened to MUCH more than lobbyists source: “Communicating With Congress,” Congressional Management Foundation, 2005

4 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development Contacts to Congress have exploded source: Congressional Management Foundation, 2008

5 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development Quotes from House staff --“One hundred form letters have less direct value than a single thoughtful letter generated by a constituent of the Member’s district.” CMF report: “Quality is more persuasive than quantity…. The content matters. The operating assumption of many congressional staff is that the more time and effort constituents take to communicate, the more passionately they care about the issue.” --“Form letters are a waste of everyone’s time.” 5 source: “Communicating With Congress,” Congressional Management Foundation, 2005

6 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development Survey Question “If your Member/Senator has not already arrived at a firm decision on an issue, how much influence might the following advocacy strategies directed to the Washington office have on his/her decision?” 6

7 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development 97% Source: Congressional Management Foundation

8 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development Which contact has “A lot of influence”? 46% 8% Source: Congressional Management Foundation

9 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development What ACA will do between now and July 27 th Schedule lobbying visit for you and other counselors from your state with both of your Senate offices, once we know which issue(s) will be discussed Prepare briefing papers & handouts for you to give to congressional staff Wednesday, July 11 th – second conference call, at 2:00pm Eastern Week of July 16 th – we’ll send out an with issue updates and lobbying messages July 26 th – training on visits, distribution of briefing papers to give staff, talking points, etc. 9

10 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development What we need you to do before July 27 th ASAP, we need you to complete the online survey – at – so that we know A) who your Representative is and B) what issue (school counseling or VA) you want to lobby on Once we give you the go-ahead, schedule a lobbying visit with your Representative’s office (after Guila contacts you to let you know if anyone else will be joining you in that visit). Collect anecdotes and information on your issues from your community/state Learn a little about your Senators and Representative 10

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12 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development Scheduling a meeting with your Rep’s office [After you hear from Guila] 1. Find out who your Representative is by visiting 2. Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at , and when the operator answers, ask to be connected to your member’s office (“Could I get Congressman Jim Moran’s office, please?”) 3. When the Representative’s receptionist answers, tell him or her who you are, that you’re a constituent of the Congressman’s/woman’s, that you’ll be in D.C. making visits on Capitol Hill on Friday, July 27 th in conjunction with a leadership meeting of the American Counseling Association, and that you’d like to meet with the Representative or a staff member to discuss 4. Tell the receptionist that given your Senate visit schedule that morning, you’d like to meet at 12:00 noon (or at 11:45, or 12:15) 5. If possible, get the name and address of the person you’ll be meeting with 6. When you get a meeting, Guila with the office, time, and staff person’s 12

13 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development Federal education law & spending – what’s NOT happening this year Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (aka “No Child Left Behind”) is dead, although House floor votes may happen House ESEA approach: cut lots of stuff—including Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program—pass several small bills (state flexibility, teachers, streamlining). Senate approach: traditional, single bill House Education & Workforce Committee bill isn’t bipartisan, Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee won’t take Senate’s bill to floor if House can’t come up with a bipartisan bill 13

14 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development Who funds education? 14 Percentage distribution of revenues for public elementary and secondary education in the United States, by source: 2008–09 NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "National Public Education Financial Survey (NPEFS)," fiscal year 2009, Version 1a. SOURCE

15 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development Federal Spending – Where does it go? 15

16 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development 16 Federal Spending – Where’s education?

17 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development Federal support for school counseling 17 Percentage distribution of total current expenditures for public elementary and secondary education in the United States, by function: 2008–09 NOTE: ”Student support services” includes attendance and social work, guidance, health, psychological services, speech pathology, audiology, and other services. SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "National Public Education Financial Survey (NPEFS)," fiscal year 2009, Version 1a. SOURCE The Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program (ESSCP) falls within this area

18 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development House initiatives supporting school counseling H.R. 667 – the “Put School Counselors Where They’re Needed Act” – introduced by Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA). Bill would create $5 million pilot project to support the hiring of school counselors in at least 10 troubled, low-income high schools. H.R – the “Reducing Barriers to Learning Act” – introduced by Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA). Establishes an Office of Specialized Instructional Support within the U.S. Dept of Education, and authorizes a competitive grant program for establishing and expanding school counseling and related programs. 18

19 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development The Ask: School counseling Senators contact Senator Tom Harkin in support of the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program (ESSCP) Ask your Senators to contact Senator Tom Harkin in support of the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program (ESSCP). This is the only federal education program focused solely on supporting school counselors and related services personnel. Representativemaintain the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program (ESSCP) cosponsor H.R. 667 and H.R. 1995, House bills supporting school counseling services. Ask your Representative to maintain the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program (ESSCP), and to cosponsor H.R. 667 and H.R. 1995, House bills supporting school counseling services. School counseling is not an optional school service. School counselors help ensure students are ready to learn and reach their potential, but state budget pressures are placing school counseling jobs on the chopping block. 19

20 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development In 2006, Congress authorized the VA to hire counselors in VA medical facilities (P.L ), but it took the VA until September 28, 2010 to establish the “LPMHC” occupation On April 19, the VA announces that it will be creating 1,600 new mental health clinician positions in anticipation of a report that highlights problems in the VA On April 23, 2012, the VA Office of the Inspector General issued a scathing report showing that the VA was not meeting the mental health needs of veterans. The next day, as part of their PR efforts, the VA announces it will add counselors to the VA workforce to treat veterans, even though they have been empowered to do so for almost six years VA- The Basics 20

21 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development The “Ask”: VA The VA created a task force to recruit and fill these 1,600 new positions, ACA should be part of that task force so we can help them hire counselors! The VA should also add counselors to their training program under the Office of Academic Affiliations. These programs a proven pathway to a career in the VA and counselors have been shut-out for too long. Tell your federal representatives that the VA should work with ACA to find counselors that can be hired for traditional “hard to fill” positions. Every 80 minutes, a veteran takes their own life. That shouldn’t happen, ACA can help and Congress needs to make that happen. 21

22 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development Medicare – What’s happening this year Physician payments cut ~27% on January 1 st, unless Congress acts, due to scheduled changes in Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (“SGR”) Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the 10-year cost ( ) of eliminating physician pay cuts at over $300 billion. In comparison: 10-year cost of LPC/MFT coverage = $400 million; 5-year cost = $100 million Congress is expected to “fix” Medicare physician payment rates in an end-of-year legislative package, perhaps including extension of Bush tax cuts and Budget Control Act provisions to avoid sequestration With enough cosponsors on S. 604 (our Medicare coverage legislation), we might get a seat on this train! 22

23 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development The “Ask”: Medicare Senators cosponsor S. 604 Ask your Senators to cosponsor S. 604, the “Seniors Mental Health Access Improvement Act”. This is bipartisan, extremely low-cost legislation which has been passed twice by both the Senate and House, but has not yet become law Representativeconsider introducing a House counterpart bill to S. 604 Ask your Representative to consider introducing a House counterpart bill to S. 604, the “Seniors Mental Health Access Improvement Act” 23

24 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development What’s a “cosponsor”? A member of congress is said to be the sponsor of a bill when he or she is the person who introduced the bill. A member of congress can cosponsor a bill by asking the bill’s sponsor to add their name as a cosponsor. Cosponsoring a bill shows support for the legislation. A member of congress who has agreed to cosponsor a bill before it is formally introduced is said to be an original cosponsor of the legislation. Original cosponsors of legislation have their names listed behind the bill sponsor’s name when the legislation is printed. The number—and make up—of a bill’s list of cosponsors shows what kind of support the legislation has. 24

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28 TENTATIVE What happens on July 27 th (TENTATIVE) 8:30am Buses leave hotel for Capitol Hill 9:15-9:35amPhotos in front of the U.S. Capitol ~10:00amLobbying visit to first Senate office ~11:00amLobbying visit to second Senate office ~12:00 noonHouse lobbying visit ~12:45pmBuses leave Capitol Hill for ACA ~1:15pmLunch ~2:15pmTour of ACA 28

29 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development U.S. Capitol and Congressional office buildings

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31 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development Enter the office and introduce yourself to the receptionist. Tell the receptionist who you have an appointment with. When the staff person comes out, introduce yourself, make small talk, ask if they’re from the state, etc. Explain who school counselors, or licensed professional counselors, are Make the “ask”: Say what you want their boss to do Ask if you can follow up with the staff person in ~2 weeks Get their card, and contact them again from back home Lobbying visits are simple! You won’t be expected to know all the answers! If you’re asked something you don’t know, just say “I don’t know, I’ll check and get back to you.” 31

32 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development 77% 74% 48% Source: Congressional Management Foundation

33 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development Source: Congressional Management Foundation “I have told paid lobbyists for years that any lobbyist worth his salt will concentrate on getting my constituents to tell me what they think…not what he thinks. He better spend his time getting them to write me because that’s what I listen to.” - Republican Senator Tell them what you think! 33

34 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development WARNING: You’ll probably be walking about 1.5 miles over the course of the day on Friday (although not all at once!) during your lobbying visits. You may want to practice! Wear comfortable shoes. Wear comfortable shoes. Taxis are an option, if you need one. 34

35 Leadership, Organizational, Personal Development Q & A Q & A Our contact info: Scott Barstow -- ph: x234 Art Terrazas -- ph: x242 Guila Todd-- ph: x


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