New York State Coalition For Aging



NYSCA
1450 Western Ave, Ste 101
Albany, NY 12203
518-765-2790
518-463-8656 (Fax)
info@coalitionforaging.org

 
 

12 steps to pass legislaion | Legislators - why you should care |
Elements of successful advocacy

LEGISLATORS: WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
- They control the purse strings - $$$$$$$$
- They establish programs
- They enact requirements
- They provide oversight
- Know your legislature
- how it works, who has the power - they are all different.

LEGISLATORS ARE GENERALISTS
- Most legislators are generalists - agriculture, aging, health, labor, human services, transportation, etc.
- You are the expert - it is your job to educate them about the realities of your work, issues, challenges.
- You are the information resource
- You are the advocate

GETTING THEIR ATTENTION - BARRIERS
- Magnitude of the issue
- complex, multi-year commitment.
- Systems - Medicaid, housing, transportation, etc.
- Workforce capacity

- Funding concerns
- Competing needs and demands
- Lack of awareness
- Lack of thorough understanding

STATE CHALLENGES - DECISION MAKING
- Multiple departments
- Multiple committees and categorical bills
- Line-item budget
- Unanticipated consequences

GETTING THEIR ATTENTION - DRIVING FORCES
- Constituent needs
- The " Olmstead Case
- Local Challenges
- Budget Factors
- The "right" thing to do
- Lessons from other states.

HOW DO YOU GET STARTED
Identify your goals - What are they?

You have to start from where you are
- identify your strengths
- identify your barriers
- identify solutions

You cannot get there if you don't know where you're going

DO'S AND DON'T'S
DO:
- Get involved - year round
- Be accurate, reliable, honest, concise and vigilant
- Build relationships early
- Offer to be a resource
- Be inclusive of others
- Have written material
- Personalize the issue

DON'T
-
Assume you don't count
- Mislead or give false information
- Make enemies
- Be too narrowly focused
- Refuse to compromise
- Go on and on
- Give up From Martha King, National Conference of State Legislatures