Advocacy is “a political process by an individual or a large group which normally aims to influence public-policy and resource allocation decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions; it may be motivated from moral, ethical or faith principles or simply to protect an asset of interest.” I believe that anyone who speaks up for another with his/her best interest at heart is an advocate. I am proud to be district president and state board member for our Parent Teachers Association (PTA) which is a great advocate for children and their families on myriad of child-related issues in such areas of education, health, well-being, and parent involvement. The purpose of advocacy is to communicate with decision makers to inform, educate, persuade/increase the level of awareness about an issue or change a course of action. Decision makers include elected and appointed officials, legislative bodies, school boards, School-Based Decision Making (SBDM) Councils, principals, teachers, parents, grandparents, students and community leaders. These are some tips:
- Keep informed about the issues
- Choose issues important to your constituents
- Build support for your cause
- Learn to work together on focus on the greater good without sacrificing key values
- Recruit new advocates or supporters
- Take healthy risks
- Retain your commitment to change
Advocacy Day is celebrated in many states such as Florida, Washington, my birth state of Illinois and my current home state Kentucky! I take my children regularly to our capital for this occasion. I am honored that my children have had the opportunity to meet with legislators and page for our state senators and representative such as Rep. Tanya Pullin, Sen. Robin Webb, Sen. Charlies Borders and Rep. Rocky Adkins over the years.
This blog is part of our series on Advocacy. In my upcoming blogs, you will read about our “Advocacy Day in our State Capital” including the new group we started and took to Frankfort, KY, our training, and our cozy conversations with legislators, Next Generation Professional’s leader and Kentucky’s Education Commissioner!
If you attended, you can share your thoughts on the success of this year’s event. If you are available on Monday, March 12th at 2:00 PM, please join Kentucky Youth Advocate (KYA)’s Communication Associate, Whitney Neal for a brief call! You can dial 1-877-662-7634 and use pass code 9833748.
Following that, we’ll discuss, “Advocacy in our Nation’s Capital”, which will highlight some the meetings I’ve had in Washington, DC regarding legislation and parent engagement. You will not want to miss Advocacy with Grad Nation-America’s Promise which will spotlight my upcoming meetings there as we promote increasing the graduation rate at the Grad Nation Summit by Colin and Alma Powell’s America Promise Alliance or Advocacy with Mom Congress!