As we approach the advocacy training Recover is hosting on October 15th from 1-4pm, I wanted to reach out to give a little background and additional information. While some of you have been in conversation about this for a long time, some of you were invited with no context. Thanks for bearing with us!
Recover Alaska works to reduce excessive alcohol use and harms across the state. One of our primary strategies in this work is policy change, to create a safer, healthier, and more equitable built environment. We analyze policy and work with legislators at the state and local level, as well as with other organizations and subject matter experts, to craft and advocate for policy improvements. Doing this work, one thing we commonly hear is that organizations avoid advocacy work because they think they are not legally allowed to or are afraid or unaware of the restrictions around lobbying. In these conversations people have asked for a training to understand what is allowable – our training is in part a response to this request.
We also know that we do not know what is best for every community. When issues are brought to us we seek to involve people who will be impacted by the policy change, but we do not have capacity to be proactive at the local level, and do not want to impose our thinking about solutions. We do want to empower local community members to understand the power of your voice and your ability to make legislative or regulatory change, and we do want to support those efforts where possible and in alignment with our mission. To this end, we are hosting this training for people to better understand the governmental processes in place and how to be most compelling within the system that exists. Recover believes we will all be better off if everyone, especially people currently underrepresented at our legislative tables, knows how to effectively use their voice to create a stronger, more representative set of laws and policies. We may reach out to you seeking support the next time we are advocating for a change, but there are no expectations of your involvement in our future efforts.
This training will discuss:
Differences between education and lobbying to help understand what is legal for nonprofit organizations, from Mike Walsh with Foraker Group
Coaching on how to tell your personal story in a way that is compelling, connected to a solution, and succinct, from Teri Tibbett with the Alaska Mental Health Trust/ABADA
Explanation of requirements around reporting, from Tom Lucas with Alaska Public Offices Commission
This training will not discuss:
Tribal governments and how to consider equity, health, and safety within these systems
Specific policy to advocate for/against
How to analyze policy or the A to Z roadmap from identifying a problem to recruiting support to engaging lawmaker/s to passing a solution
We do hope to conduct more trainings in the future and will keep asking all of you what would be most helpful.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading! If you would like to stop receiving advocacy-related emails, please let us know and we will take you off the list.
Please reach out to me if you have any questions, and I look forward to seeing many of you at our training next week.