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Your Voice Matters: Advocacy and Public Engagement for Early Childhood

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Presentation on theme: "Your Voice Matters: Advocacy and Public Engagement for Early Childhood"— Presentation transcript:

1 Your Voice Matters: Advocacy and Public Engagement for Early Childhood

2 ECM Goals Build a state-wide network of grassroots advocates Raise awareness of and provide community education on children’s issues and public investment needs Lobby at the State and National capitols on children’s issues Conduct advocacy trainings Get children’s issues elected Mission: Every Child Matters will be a powerful voice for public policies that support children and families.

3 Every Child Matters Provides You With: Position statements on issues that affect children and families Website with current information and updates on legislation affecting children Lobbyists at the Nation’s Capitol Advocacy alerts Resources Tips and training on advocacy

4 Every Child Matters Advocacy Priorities Quality Early Care and Education and After School Programs Child Well-Being and Healthy Development Child and Family Economic Success Child Safety at Home, School and in their Communities

5 Quality Early Care and Education and After School Early Learning & School Readiness Affordability for all High-Quality Programs Birth-to-Eight Initiatives Head Start Pre-K Early Intervention

6 Child Well-Being and Development Child Health & Dental Care Coverage for all children Healthy Child Development Mental and Behavioral Health

7 Child and Family Economic Success Child Care Assistance Earned Income & Child Tax Credits Paid Leave & Sick Days Job Training Safety Net Programs Livable Wages

8 Child Safety Home Visiting Family Resource Centers Child Abuse & Neglect Programs Foster Care Safe Communities Safe Schools

9 The Three-Legged Stool

10 First leg

11 Advocacy 101 Advocatea person who supports or speaks in favor; a person who pleads for another; defend.Advocate: a person who supports or speaks in favor; a person who pleads for another; defend.

12 What is Advocacy? To most of us, the word “advocacy” seems somewhat mysterious. Definition: to speak up or to plead a case; verbal support or argument for a cause, policy, etc. It is a basic constitutional right.

13 Basic Advocacy is Easy! Speak up Tell your story Be part of a group Learn from someone who knows the ropes It’s not an interrogation “I’ll get back to you with an answer.” Don’t be afraid of being rejected Practice, practice, practice

14 You might be an advocate if you’ve ever … given your opinion in a town meeting returned a faulty product to a store stood up for someone who was being unfairly treated in public written a letter to a business about poor or outstanding services received participated in a “Get Out the Vote” effort for a bill you supported met with your legislator to discuss concerns in your community

15 The Advocacy Top Ten List 10. Get to know your legislators. 9. Learn the legislative process. 8. Develop Deeper Relationships (DDR). 7. Be open to negotiation. 6. Be honest, straight-forward and realistic. 5. Timing. 4. Be sure to follow-up with legislators and their staff. 3. Recognize the sensitivity of issues that involve government and family. 2. Always say “thanks.” 1. Have staying power and be persistent. (in no particular order)

16 levels of advocacy Testify at the Capitol Work with the Media Visit Your Legislator Connect Legislators to Local Efforts Organize a Letter Campaign Communicate with Your Legislator Make the Community Connection Share Your Story Find Out Who Represents You Be Informed

17 Second leg

18 House of Representatives – 435 Senate – 100

19 Spending on Children as a Share of the Total Federal Budget - 2013

20 Total Federal Spending on Children: $280.1 Billion



23 Third leg

24 Media “Good advocates regard the media as deserving as much attention as working with elected officials and working with the grassroots.” The challenge: Children’s issues aren’t “sexy.” There are many issues competing for the attention of decision makers.

25 The Media Include … Television ―news, cable and public service announcements Radio —talk shows and public radio Print media —newspapers, magazines and newsletters Web —your website, links to other advocacy groups, fact sheets and reports Social media —Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs

26 And Finally …


28 Your Vote, Your Voice! Help advance smart public policies by: Speaking Up, Finding Out, Joining In, Voting! Visit our website today to join us and sign up for e-mails.

29 For More Information: MaryLou Beaver Ursula Ellis

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