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Advocacy 101 Erica M. Romero and Karen Y. Zamarripa San Antonio, Texas October 30, 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Advocacy 101 Erica M. Romero and Karen Y. Zamarripa San Antonio, Texas October 30, 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Advocacy 101 Erica M. Romero and Karen Y. Zamarripa San Antonio, Texas October 30, 2006

2 Advocacy v. Lobbying Advocacy: When nonprofit organizations/colleges advocate on their own behalf; seek to affect some aspect of society, whether they appeal to individuals about their behavior, employers about their rules, or the government about its laws. Lobbying: Lobbying refers specifically to advocacy efforts that attempt to influence legislation.

3 Restriction on 501C3s A 501(c)(3) non-profit cannot: Endorse or directly campaign for a candidate, party or ballot initiative. Contribute directly or in-kind to a candidate, party or ballot initiative. Distribute materials aimed to influence the outcome of an election.

4 Restriction on Nonprofits Lobbying Limits On 501(c)(3)s: IRS regulations allow 501(c)(3) organizations to spend an insubstantial amount of money on lobbying.

5 Institutional Advocacy Who and How Governing boards, presidents/chancellors are usually the only entities who can take a position for the institution or system Presidents/chancellors, faculty and staff writing personal letters on a bill should refrain from using their title/organization name Individuals have rights to express their personal views but any title/organization name must be listed as for identification purposes only (some schools prohibit the use of title/organization period).

6 What Can We Do? Present educational information: must not be biased and must permit an individual or the public to form an independent opinion or conclusion. Provide forums for candidate debates, town halls and forums as long as offered to both sides (whether at the same time or not) Support voter registration efforts

7 What Can We Do? Take positions on legislation and budget issues Take positions on ballot initiatives (subject to lobbying limitations) such as general obligation bonds and other matters of direct impact to institution

8 Best Practices in Making Your Case Know your audience - Do Your Homework –Who are they? –How does the issue relate to their district, constituents, voters and communities? Choose the right or best messenger(s) for effort Anticipate and be prepared to address opposing arguments, questions Repeat your message – over and over!

9 A Message to Remember Create a succinct message! Si Se Puede A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste Just Say No

10 Friend, Foes and Others: Who Are They? Champions Allies Fence Sitters Mellow Opponents Hard Core Opponents

11 The Basics: Letter Writing The Dos State the bill number/budget item and your position in the first paragraph Address only one issue per lette Explain how the bill impacts you and the Members District Use a personal story when possible

12 The Basics: Letter Writing The Dos Include your return address (legislators often discard mail from non-constituents). Keep the letter to no more than two pages; preferably one. FAX letter the same day mailed to Members

13 The Basics: Letter Writing The Donts Do not copy sample letters verbatim; personalize Do not use negative, condescending, threatening or intimidating language. Do not enclose extra material

14 The Basics: Office Visits The Dos Make an appointment – tell the scheduler what you want to discuss and who will be attending the meeting Be Prepared –bring a one-pager on the bill you seek to address –Know your audience: member district, voting history Appoint a spokesperson

15 The Basics: Office Visits The Dos Be assertive but polite and respectful Make a clear ASK of the Member, staff Send a thank you note –Dont forget staff too! –Another chance to confirm the ASK

16 The Basics: Office Visits The Donts Turn down meetings with staff Rude, argumentative and threatening people will be remembered – but not for the right reason Dont be late

17 Legislative Staff Contacts Dos Be polite, respectful of all staff Make introductions, provide card for future contact, reference during the meeting Give the staffer background information Note questions and make sure to follow-up

18 Grassroots Advocacy: Making It Local, Personal Alumni Advocacy Community, Business Leaders People of Influence Donors/Supporters

19 Coalition Building: More and Diverse Voices Develop partners interested in common issues, outcomes Build a broad coalition –Think organizations outside of education –Who would influence your audience? Different types of influence –Grassroots, grass tops Who DONT the members want to oppose?

20 The Fourth House: Media Media influences voters, communities, and elected officials –Both Proactive and defensive strategies can be used Tell a story – make it personal, local Media events should be provocative, exciting –Why is your story better than another, or of greater interest to reporters and their readers? Keep it timely Press releases – One page

21 Your Turn to be the Advocate Take The DREAM ACT Create a 5-minute pitch for the Act for meetings with: –1) Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-IL) –2) House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) –3) Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D- CA)

22 Your Turn to be the Advocate Develop strategy for your objective –Who and what will influence them? –What Grassroots Advocacy are you going to use in this effort? –Who should be part of your coalition? –Who is your spokesperson for each meeting? –Is there a way to use the media?

23 Contact Information Erica M. RomeroKaren Y. Zamarripa Western Regional Office The California State University 915 L Street, Suite L Street, Suite 1160 Sacramento, CA Phone: (916) Phone: (916) Fax: (916) Fax: (916)

24 References CAN Advocacy/Lobbying Guide: rofits.org_a1.pdf rofits.org_a1.pdf tingcommunication.pdf#search='crafting%20your% 20message'

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