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Building Political Will / Advocacy Best Practices. National Conference on Ending Family Homelessness February 7, 2008. Phyllis Gilberti Director of Field Mobilization 202-942-8258 pgilberti@naeh.org. Is building political will within the domain of possibility?

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building political will advocacy best practices

Building Political Will / Advocacy Best Practices

National Conference on Ending Family Homelessness

February 7, 2008

Phyllis Gilberti

Director of Field Mobilization

202-942-8258

pgilberti@naeh.org

how can we make federal policy change
Is building political will within the domain of possibility?

A pattern of what works exists

“Two steps forward, 3 steps back.”

We’ve changed the minds of elected officials.

How can we make federal policy change?
role of national organizations
Lobbyist / National Expert

Partner with local and state organizations to move policy forward – constituents v DC based lobbyists

Develop policy priorities based on input from local partners

Role of coordinator and convenor

Role of National Organizations
taking advocacy to scale in 2008
Your Success

+ Jane in Illinois’s Success

+ Pete in Arizona’s Success

=

Real Change

Taking Advocacy to Scale in 2008
what can you do
Lobby and / or

Advocate and / or

Educate and / or

Provide information

What Can You Do
how does policy change happen
Getting this on the agenda of individual Members of Congress

Accountability

“The only things that we will do (Congress) are the things that you make it impossible for us not to do.”

- Congressional staff to RESULTS (A nonprofit, grassroots citizens' lobby that identifies sustainable solutions to the problems of hunger and poverty as a human rights issue)

How Does Policy Change Happen?
how does policy change happen1
Activities to raise attention and get homelessness on the agenda

Writing Letters and Making Phone Calls to Elected Officials

Relationship Building with elected officials and their staff

In person meetings in Washington or in the district

Media

Public Education – Town Hall Meetings etc

How Does Policy Change Happen?
how does policy change happen2
Just because you say it doesn’t mean that anyone is going to listen.

Just because an elected official says it doesn’t mean that it will happen.

Persistence and follow through are the golden keys.

How Does Policy Change Happen?
slide9
“ The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

– Benjamin Franklin

anne s story
Began with no relationship with conservative House Member

He said ‘no’ to co-sponsoring homelessness legislation at least three times

He ended up being a co-sponsor

Anne’s Story
opportunities with this congress
Creating Champions in Congress

A “Go To” Person

A Long Term Process

Winning One Battle v The Long Term Fight

Opportunities with this Congress
next year s agenda and goals
Next Year’s Agenda and Goals
  • An Election Year
  • Short Term Asks
  • Long Term Strategy
  • Creating “Go To” People
discussion questions
Think of an advocacy accomplishment. What was accomplished and How?

Are there any barriers that have prevented you from participating in advocacy efforts?

Talk about a failed advocacy effort. What happened? Why did it fail?

Discussion Questions