Public Policy, Advocacy, and Weighing In:
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Public Policy, Advocacy, and Weighing In: Participating in the Creation of Child and Family Policy By Becky Miller Updike. Who Is In Charge Here, Anyway?. Pop Quiz:. Describe your level of knowledge about the policy- making process: I never heard of it before.

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Public Policy, Advocacy, and Weighing In:

Participating in the Creation of Child and Family Policy

By Becky Miller Updike

Who Is In Charge Here, Anyway?


Pop quiz
Pop Quiz:

Describe your level of knowledge about the policy- making process:

  • I never heard of it before.

  • I know some things and vote most of the time.

  • I have quite a bit of experience and like the topic.

  • I learned about it from School House Rock.



Politics vs policy in simple terms if policy is the end then politics are the means to the end
Politics vs. Policy change anything anyway.In simple terms, if policy is the end, then politics are the means to the end.


The 3 big ideas
The 3 Big Ideas: change anything anyway.

  • To help you find your advocacy VOICE, and to help you empower others to find theirs.

  • To find HOPE and help you BELIEVE in the political system.

  • To help you keep the COURAGE to be the voice for the voiceless.


Where is policy being made
Where is policy being made? change anything anyway.

  • Federal Level

    -- Executive Branch (President), Legislative Branch (House of Representatives and Senate), and Judicial Branch (Supreme Court)

  • State Level

    -- Executive Branch (Governor), Legislative Branch (House of Representatives and Senate), and Judicial Branch (State Supreme Court)

  • Local Level

    -- City (Mayors), County, School Board, Agencies

  • Who runs for office?

    -- The concept of a “citizen legislature”


Colorado
Colorado change anything anyway.

  • Executive Branch (Charged with making sure laws passed by legislature are properly executed. includes Governor and Lt. Governor, whose seats will be up in 2010. Also includes Attorney General, State Treasurer)

  • Legislative Branch (Makes and revises laws for the state, includes House of Representatives and Senate)

  • Judicial Branch (Interprets and administers the law. Includes State Supreme Court, District Courts, County Courts, and Court of Appeals)

  • See www.colorado.gov for more information on State Government


Long story short: change anything anyway.A pie of money comes to each state every year from the feds. We have to feed everyone and everything with that pie.


The creation of policy
The Creation of Policy change anything anyway.

  • How does policy impact children and families?

  • How is it created?


Jumping into the process
Jumping Into the Process change anything anyway.

  • Ideas for legislation usually come to “solve a problem”

  • Proactive, research based ideas rarely become bill drafts

  • Citizens approach legislators with an issue to solve and viola`-- a bill gets drafted


Tracking a bill
Tracking a Bill change anything anyway.

Citizens and special interest groups can track a bill and “weigh in” by

  • Discussing it with legislators

  • Educating stakeholders so they are moved to action

  • Write letters, make calls, send emails

  • Provide public testimony on the bill


How to lessons on weighing in
How To: Lessons on Weighing In change anything anyway.

  • Letters do matter… keep it brief and get to the point. Include your name and address.

  • Contact YOUR representatives. They pay the most attention if you are from their district because YOU can VOTE

  • Public Testimony– keep it to 2-3 minutes, get to the point, and balance data with emotion. Keep it to 2-3 KEY POINTS.


How to find my legislator
How to find my legislator? change anything anyway.

  • FOR MORE INFO: http://www.leg.state.co.us/ is the Legislature homepage. You can track bills, calendar, and find your legislator’s contact info

  • FIND YOUR REPS: http://www.vote-smart.org/index.htm

  • You’ll need your zip code plus 4 digits… if you don’t know those, go to http://www.usps.com/ and go to “Find a Zip Code”


Other resources
Other Resources change anything anyway.

  • Every Child Matters www.everychildmatters.org

  • Children’s Defense Fund www.childrensdefense.org

  • Colorado Children’s Campaign www.coloradokids.org

  • Child Welfare League of America www.cwla.org

  • Project Vote Smart www.vote-smart.org

  • Colorado State Website www.state.co.us

  • US House of Representatives www.house.gov

  • US Senate www.senate.gov


Voter registration drives
Voter Registration Drives change anything anyway.

  • In Colorado, following the 2004 election, all Voter Registration Drives must be registered with the Secretary of State’s Office.


How to organize a voter registration drive in co
How to Organize a change anything anyway.Voter Registration Drive in CO

  • First, get legal. Register and train.

  • To register with the Secretary of State, go to the website:

    www.sos.state.co.us

  • Then click on the Elections Center tab.

  • From there, sign up for a training on VRDs.

  • Fill out a VRD Statement of Intent


Tips for a good vrd
Tips for a Good VRD change anything anyway.

  • Arrange to be at a place where people already are. Examples include: fairs, conferences, meetings of special interest groups, child care centers, Family Resource Centers, etc.

  • Get permission in advance to have a table there.

  • Have information available to attract visitors and to educate them about your cause.

  • Invite them to register to vote. If they are already registered, encourage them to make sure they vote.

  • Give free stuff if you can! (Stickers, etc.)


What next
WHAT NEXT? change anything anyway.

  • Vote

  • Register your staff, parents, others

  • Volunteer for a cause (EVERY CHILD MATTERS??!!)

  • Attend candidate forums & ask questions

  • Yard signs & other materials

  • Host an event or candidate tour

  • GOTV with ECM…

  • SIGN UP TODAY!


Contact info
Contact Info: change anything anyway.

Becky Miller Updike

Office of Strategic Initiatives & Every Child Matters CO

Tennyson Center for Children

2950 Tennyson Street

Denver, CO 80212

(720)855-3455 Ofc

(720)560-3810 Cell

[email protected]


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