“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment
before starting to improve the world” Anne Frank
What is an advocate? Literally, the word “advocate” means “to speak for. ”If there are child and family issues that you feel very strongly about, turn those feelings into action on behalf of children. Learn more about your right to advocate!
Here are some tools you can use to help make your voice heard:
Download WCCF’s “Legislative Advocacy Guide”. A new WCCF publication that has everything you need to know about how to advocate on your issue to your legislators and Governor, including information on public hearings and the state budget process.
Learn all you can about the issue
The easiest and fastest way to learn about anything these days, including children’s issues, is on the internet. Our website is a good place to start and is regularly updated. We offer plenty of links to on-line resources in Wisconsin as well as national organizations. Also sign-up for our e-newsletters and/or action alert list to get regular updates on children’s issues and alerts when your action is needed.
Identify your audience and a strategy for reaching it.
Who can give you what you want? Who are they influenced by? Whose minds have to be changed? How can you get your message to them? How can you avoid “preaching to the choir”? Read Helpful Hints for Communicating with Elected Officials and Some Do’s and Don’ts For Effective Advocacy Encounters for specific tips.
Develop a powerful and clear message.
Whether you plan to speak at public hearing or send an email on an issue you care about you should say more than just what you want from them. Use our helpful worksheet Developing Effective Messages. If you can come up with brief answers to these five questions, you are well on your way to coming up with a message that is short, clear, and convincing.
There’s power in numbers.
Find out if other people in your community or region are aware of this issue. Does a group or coalition already exist? Your efforts may be more effective if you work with an existing group. If no group currently exists, think about who would/could/should be in such a group if it did exist? Who are the local experts and opinion leaders on this issue? Talk to like-minded people about getting organized.
Stay informed about current and past Legislation.
Find out the status of current legislation and the Council’s position by visiting our Legislation Tracker. If it is not something we are tracking you can also find it at http://legis.wisconsin.gov/