“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the word; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever does.” – Margaret Mead
What is advocacy?
- Self-Advocacy – action on your own behalf
- Individual Advocacy – acting on your own, for any cause
- Systems Change or Community Advocacy – acting to change the way things are done within agencies, organizations or government. One form of Community Advocacy is Political Action.
9 Ways to Advocate
- Ask for what you want. If you ask you might not get it; if you don’t ask, you certainly will not. Talk to someone who has the power to make a change. For example, ask to talk to the supervisor or person in charge
- Take action. Make a phone call, send an email, or send a letter – and always sign it!
- Use the media. Write a letter to the editor or a newsletter article on an issue to inform & mobilize. Talk to the media (news reporter, radio announcer, etc.)
- Talk to a policy-maker. Talk to a City Councilwoman, Mayor, State Legislator, or U.S. Congressman, or testify at public hearings and meetings.
- Join a policy-making body, like a governmental council or commission, or an organization’s Board of Directors.
- Use your civil rights. Learn your rights and responsibilities. File an appeal or grievance when you don’t agree with a service provider’s decision. File an ADA complaint with the AZ Attorney General or U.S. Department of Justice.
- Get involved with your political party at the local level. Volunteer on a political campaign. Start or sign a petition.
- Join or organize a rally, press conference or demonstration.
- Register to vote… and vote!