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					Survivor! Grass Roots Advocacy 101
Presented by: Carolyn Wiles Higdon Linda Tepperman
Boston Convention Center, CC-105 November 15, 2007

Grassroots Advocacy
• grass·roots
the everyday people in a community and/or the members of an organization

• ad·vo·ca·cy
giving aid to a cause active verbal support for a cause or position

Empowering You!!!
• Improve your understanding of the system • Increase your knowledge of proposed legislative and regulatory changes

• Encourage ongoing communication between professional and consumer groups • Provide information about whom to contact

What are the Benefits of Grassroots Advocacy?
• Increased commitment to goals shared by speech-language pathologists, audiologists, legislators, student groups and higher education programs
• Greater success in implementing planned advocacy strategies, including legislative, regulatory, and media initiatives

What are the Benefits of Grassroots Advocacy?
• Shared knowledge and expertise among professionals, students and legislators • Increased cohesiveness and willingness of professionals and students to work together on future grassroots advocacy efforts that impact the professions • Generation of grassroots advocacy initiatives as a group that may not be generated on an individual basis

What Are the Types of Grassroots Advocacy?
The two types of advocacy are: • Legislative Advocacy • Regulatory Advocacy

What Is Legislative Advocacy?
Legislative advocacy is aimed at:

• Introducing a bill in the U.S. Congress or state legislature
• Changing a bill that has been introduced

• Opposing a bill that has been introduced
• Ensuring that a bill is enacted into law

What Is Regulatory Advocacy?
Regulatory advocacy is aimed at:

• Influencing governmental agencies that are responsible for developing, implementing, monitoring and enforcing regulations at the federal or state levels

Examples of Federal Legislative and Regulatory Activities
• Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
• Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) • Medicare and Medicaid

Examples of State Legislative and Regulatory Activities
• State licensure laws for speech-language pathologists and audiologists
• State education regulations – credentialing, case load, etc. • State health department regulations mandating universal newborn and infant hearing screening • State Medicaid programs

YOUR STATE
• What is happening in your state?
– Who to contact …..

What is Local/Community Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy?
Local and community legislative and regulatory activities are aimed at:
• Actions that occur through the initiatives of elected or appointed local representatives

• Counties, municipalities, townships, cities and school districts

How Can ASHA National Office Staff Support You?
• Prepare and disseminate materials • Facilitate congressional visits by ASHA members • Analyze federal legislation that affects the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology, monitor its status and prepare talking points for ASHA members

• Coordinate grassroots advocacy initiatives for students and ASHA members on important federal health, disability, and education policy issues

How Can ASHA National Office Staff Support You?
• Lobby Congress on behalf of the professions • Participate in other political activities, such as coalition building on mutual legislative objectives • Increase the visibility of the professions to Congress • Provide key contact information

What is the Role of the Governmental Relations and Public Policy (GRPP) Board in Grassroots Advocacy?
• The GRPP Board develops ASHA’s Public Policy Agenda with input from membership – National Office Staff develops work plan to implement Public Policy Agenda (PPA)
• Provides advocacy training and education to leadership groups • Coordinates communication with state speech-language hearing associations

What is the Role of Political Action Committees (PAC) in Grassroots Advocacy?
• Influence the election of individuals to public office who can affect policy change which impacts the professions • Raise funds for distribution to legislators to promote current professional issues
• Facilitate the understanding of the necessity of PAC funds among professional members

How can States and ASHA work together in Grassroots Advocacy?
• Monitor state legislative activities that may affect the professions and consumers we serve • Facilitate communication among states regarding legislative trends • Identify legislative objectives for a state association to focus on to advance the professions • Develop and maintain a member grassroots advocacy network

• Educate members about grassroots advocacy

How can Students be involved in Grassroots Advocacy?
• Understand the importance of being an ongoing advocate for the professions.
• Participate in opportunities to learn about and engage in professional grassroots advocacy efforts • Coordinating a student group at your University to engage in grass roots advocacy

How to Plan for an Effective Meeting with Legislators
• Lay the groundwork. • Contact your Representative and Senators.
• Explain who you are and why you want to meet. • Confirm your appointment. • Be prepared for your visit. • Be prompt and patient for your visit.

With Whom are You Meeting?
Federal
• Member of Congress • Paid Legislative Staff • Chief of Staff • Legislative Director • Legislative Assistant • Legislative Correspondent • Unpaid Staff • Interns • Fellows

State
• Government Officials Legislator • Legislative Staff • Committee Staff • Other

Federal Committees Important to our Professions
House of Representatives:
• Appropriations Committee • Budget Committee

Senate
• Appropriations Committee
• Budget Committee

• Ways and Means Committee
• Energy and Commerce Committee

• Finance Committee
• Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee

• Education and Labor Committee

Effective Meetings with Your Legislators
• • • • • • • • • • • REMEMBER: You are the constituent. Bring business cards and any interesting/relevant materials with you. Identify yourself. Identify your subject. Focus on one or two points. State your position clearly and concisely. Express your views reasonably. Do not argue. Keep your visit to 15 minutes or less. Thank the member or staff for their time/consideration of your position. If you have met with helpful staff, let your legislator know. Follow up with a thank you letter and request to be kept informed about the issue.

Keys to Building and Maintaining Good Relationships
• Schedule a face-to-face appointment,

•
•

Follow-up with a thank you note and/or telephone call.
Keep in contact with them via email or call at least twice a year.

•
•

Send holiday cards.
Attend local political fundraisers, events, and barbecues that are sponsored by the legislator.

•

Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about your legislator and cc your legislator’s office.

Advocacy in Action: Success Stories of Grassroots Advocacy
• ASHA has assisted 10 states in securing annual salary bonuses for school-based members holding the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) – ranging from $1,750 - $6,000 – totaling $12 million dollars annually (2007). • ASHA has facilitated in the establishment of 25 New CPT Codes over the past 5 years
• ASHA members visited more than 195 Congressional Offices in March 2006 and we anticipate more than 200 visits in 2007. • Early Hearing Detection and Intervention; first the screening mandates and now a new initiative for funding for intervention and follow-up.

SO…Grassroots Advocacy
• Preparation and Education
• ASHA Website: http://www.asha/about/Legislation-Advocacy

• Communication • Mentoring
The ASHA Gathering Place:
http://www.asha.org/students/gathering place/about.htm

GRPP Board- 2007
Susan J. Brannen (NY) - Chair Roberta A. Kreb (MN) Joan A. Mele-McCarthy (MD) Ninevah W. Murray (NC) Kathleen E. Peterson (AZ) Deborah Sears (TX) – Chair ASHA PAC Linda S. Tepperman (NY) Cynthia K. Terres (SC) – Public Member Carolyn Wiles Higdon (MS) DeAnne Owre, Monitoring VP James G. Potter – Ex Officio

Presentation prepared by the 2007 GRPP Board

Feedback ?
Email us at grassroots@asha.org