Advocacy Tip: New Legislative Session Brings New Advocacy Opportunities

AdvocacyWith the new legislative session beginning there are new opportunities to advocate for your school districts and the children you serve. That’s because it’s a chance to renew/develop relationships with your state legislators.  We’ve previously shared contact information for the members of the Joint Finance Committee, Senate and Assembly education committees and the school districts represented by each. If you and your school district are represented by a lawmaker on these committees you are especially well-positioned to make an impact.

An easy way to stay in touch with your state lawmakers is to subscribe to their e-update through their websites (Senate & Assembly).  There are typically links or buttons on the front page of the websites.  Below are a couple examples:

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Watch these e-newsletters for announcements about listening sessions or town hall meetings.  Typically these meetings are held in various locations such as public libraries or town or village halls throughout your district.  They give you an excellent opportunity to engage your state legislator in a one-on-one or small group discussion.  Gather a group of parents, grandparents, board members, etc. and voice your opinions and concerns to your legislators at these events.

This is also a good time to make sure that your state legislators are receiving your district newsletters.  It’s also a great time to invite your state legislators to meet with your board, visit your schools, and attend a board meeting or school event. These are great opportunities to showcase what is going well in your district as well as show your state legislators what your challenges are and suggest ways they might help you.

Although the New Year is already upon us, it’s not too late to add these advocacy suggestions to your New Year’s Resolutions for 2017 and, better yet, to make sure you keep them.  Resolve to make advocacy a habit.