Discuss the use of Media Advocacy to impact policy in health promotion strategies and tactics.

Using Advocacy to Impact Policy*

Health Promotion Strategies & Tactics (COH430)

National University

* Bensley, R.J., & Brookins-Fisher, J. (2009). Community health education methods. Third edition. Boston: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc.

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When you speak directly to your elected officials or testify at a public hearing, sharing your personal experiences can have a tremendous impact. If you do not speak out about what makes good public health policy, legislators will either assume either that no one cares about the program, so funding can be cut, or that no changes are needed. (Bensley & Brookins-Fisher, 2009, p. 333)

Chapter 13 Learning Objectives

1. Explain and describe steps for advocating legislation.

2. Summarize and evaluate tips and techniques for successful legislative advocacy.

3. Identify successful strategies for overcoming challenges in advocating for legislation.

Information Source: ©2008 Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC (www.jbpub.com)

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Legislative advocacy

  • The contact made with a policymaker or legislator
  • To discuss a social or economic problem
  • On behalf of a particular group/population
  • As long as no specific bill number is mentioned

Using Advocacy to Impact Policy

Information Source: ©2008 Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC (www.jbpub.com)

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Direct Lobbying

  • Communication about a specific legislation with a legislator
  • Communication about a specific position on legislation
  • Can ask a legislator to support or veto a specific bill

Using Advocacy to Impact Policy

Information Source: ©2008 Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC (www.jbpub.com)

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Grassroots Lobbying

  • A group/organization appeals to the general public
  • Asks them to take action or influence specific legislation
  • A letter to parents of children at Capri Elementary asking them to call or write their congressperson to support a bill or increase funding for a new school program

Using Advocacy to Impact Policy

Information Source: ©2008 Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC (www.jbpub.com)

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Steps for Advocating Legislation

  • Identify issue and develop a fact sheet
  • Understand what steps are needed to enact legislation
  • Identify potential partners and form or join coalitions to increase success
  • Motivate grassroots support
  • Identify and work with policymakers
  • Use the Internet for advocacy

Using Advocacy to Impact Policy

Information Source: ©2008 Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC (www.jbpub.com)

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Identify the Issue
See page 337: table 13-1

  • Define the problem
  • Who is affected? Are many affected? Are some at greater risk than others?
  • Research demographics, needs assessments and epidemiologic data
  • What is cost if problem not addressed?
  • What policy or law could help resolve the issue?

Understand how policy becomes legislation

Steps for Passing a County Regulation
Table 13-2 p.338

  • Advocacy group raises issue
  • Health officer/community leader introduces idea to Board of Health
  • Regulation language (how bill will be written) is researched (research laws about similar issues)
  • Language drafted
  • Regulation language and data presented

Understand how policy becomes legislation

  • Meetings/hearings held to discussed proposed regulation
  • If passed by Board of Health, regulation is presented to Board of Commissioners
  • Task Force may be appointed
  • Public hearing dates set and notifications sent and hearings take place
  • Commissioners vote
  • If passed, the local health department has authority to adopt

Identify potential partners
Motivate Grassroots Support

  • Forming a group to advocate for or against an issue can be more effective than an individual group
  • American Cancer Society
  • American Lung Association
  • American Heart Association

See table 13-4, p. 343

Identify and Work with Policymakers
Using Internet for Advocacy

Policymakers

  • Elected officials whom enact policy, laws, ordinances
  • Table 13-5 p.344

ALAC Advocacy

  • Tell congress you support tobacco sale age to be 21

Tips and Techniques for Successful

Legislative Advocacy

  • Develop legislative alerts– notices to a group’s members about upcoming votes, needed action – Figure 13-1 p.349
  • Initiate campaigns – letter writing or phone calls
  • Meet with legislators

Using Advocacy to Impact Policy

Information Source: ©2008 Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC (www.jbpub.com)

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Tips and Techniques for Successful

Legislative Advocacy

  • Testify at hearings and/or utilize media
  • Establish a relationship to influence policymakers
  • Phone calls, letters, coffee hours at local establishments, attend hearings
  • Use media advocacy to support a legislative advocacy campaign
  • Table 13-10 p.354

Using Advocacy to Impact Policy

Information Source: ©2008 Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC (www.jbpub.com)

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Overcoming Challenges

  • Prepare for the opposition
  • Motivate community support
  • Prevent volunteer burnout
  • Deal with internal politics
  • Keep bills moving

Using Advocacy to Impact Policy

Information Source: ©2008 Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC (www.jbpub.com)

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Expected Outcome

  • Increase legislative advocacy skills
  • Grass Roots Examples
  • SF Tobacco Free Project
  • Legislative Session
  • 20:18 – 59:10

Using Advocacy to Impact Policy

Information Source: ©2008 Jones and Bartlett Publishers, LLC (www.jbpub.com)

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ALAC E-Cigarette Legislative Advocacy
SD City Council: 7-28-14

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