This week’s Discussion Question:
Then, consider your experience with legislative advocacy. If you have no experience, what fears do you have about engaging in advocacy? If you do have experience, what advice would you share with someone who is new to legislative advocacy?
(Note: You do not need to respond to this discussion question, it is only displayed for your reference and for a better understanding as to what the two students are responding to.)
Respond to at least two colleagues with additional insight.
(Note: You do not need to respond to the discussion questions, it is included for your reference so you are aware of what questions the students are replying to) I posted two of my colleagueâ€™s responses to the discussion question above, please respond to their posts. You may begin the response with Hi Alexa and Hi Magugu) (I need at least a half page response for each person) Please include references and provide the url link to all journal articles you use as references. Use current (meaning within the past 2 years) scholarly journal articles as references. Please use APA 6th edition format. Thanks)
I wouldnâ€™t say that I do not have any legislative advocacy experience at all, but I definitely havenâ€™t been in the position where I am doing it myself. I have joined advocacy movements at legislative hall to hear speeches when legislators are making plans to pass a bill and fighting for a certain group of people to do so.
The Executive Director at my organization is also a state legislator so when it comes to advocacy, she has it all covered very well. Most sources say that you have to be outgoing and political. I am not political at all and I choose to stay away from people who are overly political about things. Although I am outgoing for the most part and have a very great elevator speech that I could use to get people excited about my organization and its needs, itâ€™s the part where people do not always have an open mind and often think that they know better than you about your own organization. Not to mention, I am extremely young for my position and people do not always take me seriously even though I speak proficiently and educated enough to talk with people who have been in the business for 20+ years. Personality wise, I often get frustrated when people cannot see my point of view, and I donâ€™t think thatâ€™s very professional of me to get upset at someone else. Although I value and respect othersâ€™ opinions, when my point of view is for the greater good, I can never understand why some people donâ€™t see that.
I am fearful that I will not be able to properly inspire people about the same things that I am passionate about. I know that although some will hop on board, others will stay behind give to the same organizations that they have been giving to for years before. I am also fearful that the people we give business to will be too selfish to give back to us in times of need. There will always be people that will give, but some people will never be selfless enough to do so. I think what I am overall most afraid of in reading my own post, is that I will let down my organization if I am the one who is solely in charge of the advocating.
I am hopeful that I will gain the respect of multiple people and other organizations as I continue within my role and taking the lead from my ED. I know that I am capable of doing a great job advocating and I know that you â€œcanâ€™t win â€˜em allâ€ but I do think that any disappointment will discourage me.
Human service organizations have a high level of dependence on government funding; therefore, they tend to reduce their political and protest activities. This is due to the fear of harming their income (Schmid, Bar & Nirel, 2008). However, human service professionals should not fear advocating for the specific populations they support, as this is the only way their clientsâ€™ issues are voiced out. They should communicate their purpose with boldness and clarity to achieve their goal and at the same time operating in accordance with government policies to secure their income. I would advice someone new in legislative advocacy to establish relationships with other legislators, especially those in support of their issue, and getting to know the opponent side as well. I would also advice that one should be well prepared by knowing their issue inside out in order to convince the lawmakers.
Schmid, H., Bar, M. & Nirel, R. (2008). Advocacy activities in nonprofit human service organizations: Implications for policy. Nonprofit and voluntary sector quarterly, 37 (4).