Advocacy:the act of speaking on the behalf of or in support of another person, place, or thing.
There are many forms to use when advocating: letter writing, emails and phone campaigns. We all lead busy lives, so it’s important to know that advocating doesn’t have to take much time.
Here are several ways to advocate in 30 minutes or less:
Estimated Time What You Can Do
1 minute Leave a phone message
5 minutes Make a phone call
5 minutes Write a postcard
10 minutes Send an email to all the people you know who have email
30 minutes Write a letter to the editor of the PTA newsletter
30 minutes Write and email a letter to the editor of the local paper
30 minutes Write and email a press release to the local newspaper
30 minutes Meet with your legislator (plus travel time).
CONTACTING YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS
Whether you are writing a letter/email or calling your legislator, here are a few tips that the National Education Association recommends:
● Keep it brief: Discuss one bill or issue in a letter/email.
● Identify Yourself: Include your name and organization you represent.
● Get to the Point: Follow your introduction with a brief statement of your issue or concern.
● Relate it to Home: Help the legislator understand why your position is important to his or her constituents. Include specific facts about how a bill will impact educators, students or schools in the legislator’s district.
● Allow for Follow Up: Include specific contact information and offer to act as a resource should the legislator or staff have questions or need additional information. State in the letter that you will follow up with a telephone call.
● Address the Letter/Email Correctly: Use correct title of Senator, Representative and include “ U.S. /Texas House of Representative” or “U.S./Texas Senate”.
In an email, you will want to make sure that you:
● Avoid informal language
● Include your full address and zip code