Now more than ever, it is critical to tell our legislators how essential quality afterschool and expanded learning opportunities are to the development of the whole child. For providing quality services, supporting working families, supporting economic growth, strengthening workforce development and keeping kids safe, the answer is simple:
The children and youth that you serve need your voice to be heard at the State House this year. We're calling for your presence at the annual Afterschool and Expanded Learning Opportunities Advocacy Day to tell your legislator how vital your program is to your community. For help contacting your legislator to make an appointment, or to find out how you can get involved in Advocacy Day 2013, contact Nicole Wilkins at MAP.
Ready, Set, Advocate!
To get you started on the road to effective advocacy and prepare you for Advocacy Day on April 23rd, check out the tools and resources in the steps below:
Ready: Learn about ELO Policy, News and Research
· Register for Advocacy Day at http://afterschoolworksadvocacyday.eventbrite.com/.
· Attend one of MAP's Advocacy 101 meetings that are being held across Massachusetts. These meetings will assist you and your staff outline the budget process, share advocacy techniques and tips, and work to connect participants with lawmakers to arrange site visits to your program during your hours of operation. If you would like more information about the Advocacy 101 meetings contact Peter Christopher, MAP's Communications and Policy Associate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Arrange for transportation from your region to the State House. For more information, contact Katie Magrane at email@example.com.
· Stay up-to-date on legislative happenings by joining MAP's Advocacy Center.
Set: Develop the Message: Afterschool Works!
· Set up a meeting with your elected officials as soon as possible. For helpful suggestions on how to set up a meeting, use the Setting Up a Legislative Meeting Tip Sheet. Once you have set up your meeting, contact Nicole Wilkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Parents, as the voting voice of their children, play a critical role in the advocacy process. Engage staff and parents at your program by encouraging them to register for Advocacy Day, discussing experiences and stories to share with legislators, and arranging legislative meetings.
· Contact your local media to spread the message of afterschool and ELO to businesses and others in your community.
Advocate: Meeting with a Legislator or Aide
· Prepare for your meeting. The Meeting with Legislators and Aides Tips Document will provide you with some recommendations.