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  1. You’re the Cure CRASH COURSE American Heart Association Mid-Atlantic Affiliate

  2. What This is All About • What is advocacy? • Activities you can do • How to be good at it • Building your own volunteer role

  3. What is ADVOCACY? Advocacy is the application of pressure and influence on the people and institutions that have the power to give you what you want.

  4. You’re the Cure= Results-Oriented Advocacy The collective advocacy of You’re the Cure network members has added up to: • millions of dollars for research • legislation for smoke-free laws • legislation for heart attack and stroke systems of care • Policies supporting women’s heart health • Policies that assure NATIONAL STANDARDS for prevention, response and treatment

  5. Where & How advocates can influence the process… • Where? • Everywhere! Advocates can weigh in and influence decision makers at any and every point in the decision making process • How? • Emails, letters, phone calls, visits • Real stories • Quantity and quality

  6. Two Main Ways to Impact a Decision Maker DIRECTLY – conversations, consistent interaction and relationship-building INDIRECTLY – rallying others Both matter, both are effective, and a variety of strategies is optimal!

  7. Roles for You’re the Cure Advocates • Share your personal story • Take action online: JUST CLICK IT! • Take action ‘offline’ – attend a legislative hearing or lobby day, make a phone call or visit your lawmaker in person, or send a letter to the editor of a local newspaper • Help build the network – forward alerts, host a house party for neighbors and friends, recruit co-workers or other contacts, get your family involved

  8. Direct Influence with a Lawmaker • Email • Telephone • Letter • Meeting (local in-district or at capital) • Connecting thru Facebook or Twitter

  9. Talking to a lawmaker…demystified • “Hi, my name is…” • “I’m here to talk to you about…” • “This is why it’s important…” • “Here’s my story…” • “Will you support…?”

  10. The Power of Personal Stories • Make it real • Make it local • Make it personal • Make it powerful • Make them feel!

  11. Telling your personal story • How has heart disease or stroke impacted you? • Keep it concise (usually 1-3 minutes) • Should be specific and accurate • Include the emotional side of your story, not just the facts! • How does your story relate to the policy ask we are making?

  12. Growing the YTC Network • Find who cares • Who do you know who might care about these issues? • Who might participate just because it’s important to you? • Who can you educate to help them care? • Forward our emails! • For tools for recruitment and ideas on where to recruit, search online: • Click on your state

  13. Social Media

  14. Media Advocacy Influencing policy perspectives thru the press • Letters-to-the-Editor: 200-300 words (see newspaper rules) • Op-Eds: usually 600-700 words, + more detailed, more data, more personal, more often published if by subject matter expert. • Use AHA talking points and fact sheets, along with your personal story.

  15. You’re the CureLeadership Opportunities • Lead or co-lead recruitment or training sessions • Drive a component of outreach for your area • Social Media, Recruitment, Training, etc • Reach out to area YTC advocates by phone and email to check in, offer support, and urge them to take action • Assist AHA staff as requested in communicating with and supervising other advocates • Coordinate advocacy activities such as legislative visits, house parties, letter to the editor campaigns, etc • And more! Contact Keltcie

  16. Participate! • Find your OWN niche • Keep us informed: • search on AHA Advocacy Contacts • Learn more: • search on

  17. Your Next Move Take one offline action and report back 804.965.6571 Live your life from your heart. Share from your heart. And your story will touch and heal people's souls. -Melody Beattie