Many of you have said you will be joining us at Women’s Advocacy Day in Raleigh this Tuesday, April 21 to bring your voices to the NC General Assembly and to the policy table. Thank you! Your voices and experiences are vital to developing the society we want to see, one in which we all have the support and opportunities to live up to our individual potential. If you haven’t registered yet, but plan to be there, let us know.
For those who will be there in person, and those who may only be able to participate virtually (you can absolutely do that), we know that you want to be prepared for your visits and chats with your representatives. Please don’t feel like you must be an expert in the policies you want to discuss; know that most of the legislators aren’t, either. That’s why they need their constituents (and also lobby and advocacy groups) to help inform them. What you need to be the expert on – and what you are the expert on – is what you feel comfortable discussing in those few minutes you will have with your representative (or their legislative assistant). If you feel most comfortable talking about your personal story (or the story of your family, friends, neighbors, community) that relates to a bill, share that. If you feel most comfortable sharing facts and figures from the latest research and polling, share that (check our members’ websites for lots of great resources on many of our issues). Go in (or make that call) with the argument you feel comfortable with and confident in. Trust us – while you and your legislator may not agree on the issue, there will hardly be time for a long debate on who is right. Say what you want to say, listen to their response, and thank them for their time. And continue to follow up as needed – developing a relationship with your representative is a great way to use your voice in our democracy.
Please take a look at our 2015 legislative agenda for more information on the issues that may be important to you, and that we believe our important for women and families across North Carolina. For more in-depth background, check out the member policy papers in our 2014 Draft Agenda, which was the foundation for our legislative agenda. In the next day or so, we will have even more resources on-line, to help you out on Women’s Advocacy Day and during the rest of the session.
See you in Raleigh!