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How_to_Inform_and_Engage_Policy_Makers_-...

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Published on January 7, 2009

Author: aSGuest9556

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How to Keep Local and National Policy Makers Informed : 1 How to Keep Local and National Policy Makers Informed Advocating for Service-Learning November 1, 2006 Slide 2: 2 Service-Learning United: Who We Are A growing alliance of state and national organizations working collectively to educate our nation’s leaders, policymakers, and citizens about the positive and powerful impact service-learning has on our young people and the communities they serve. Committed to increasing support, recognition, and resources for service-learning through public engagement and effective policy strategies. In June 2004, more than 20 service-learning leaders gathered to coordinate efforts across all streams of service-learning: K-12 Schools, Colleges and Universities, and Community-Based Organizations. Identified several targeted areas of work that included federal and state advocacy efforts such as promoting best practices, coordinating a consistent communications strategy, and advocating for increased funding of Learn and Serve America. Slide 3: 3 FY07 Appropriations Review Administration proposes $34.1M for Learn and Serve America (LSA), an 8% cut from the program’s FY06 record-low appropriation of $37.1M and cumulatively, a 20% cut from its traditional funding level of $43M for the past decade. Both the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Committees reported out legislation for $34.1M in each of its spending bills in mid-June and late July, respectively. House and Senate adjourned on Oct. 1. Before adjourning, Congress passed a stop-gap funding measure, known as a continuing resolution (CR). FY06 expired on Oct. 1. National service programs - funded through the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill - will stay funded at their FY06 level until the CR expires on November 17. Congress will resume consideration of the Appropriations bills. After which a special committee will have to convene to reconcile the differences between the two bills. The House and Senate must pass an identical bill before it can be sent to the President for his signature and enacted into law. Slide 4: 4 Implications of Cuts if Enacted A 20% funding cut of $8.5 million and the second consecutive decrease; More than 300,000 students losing the opportunity to serve through Learn and Serve America; A loss of $34 million of leveraged resources to communities; and A loss of 7.3 million service hours to communities; Slide 5: 5 Action Taken to Date 4 advocacy workshops at 2006 NYLC Conference in PA. 2,738 messages sent to Congress since Mar. ‘06. 450 signatories for LSA support letter provided to MOC. 50 office and site visits with Members of Congress and staff. 3,278 hits on www.servicelearningunited.org since Jan. ‘06. Support LSA Capitol Hill event with Peter Yarrow on July 12. State coalition conference calls in PA, IA, MS, and CT. Service-Learning United met with OMB. Voices for National Service Hill Day on Sept. 14 59 Members of the House signed a letter calling on the House LHHS App. leadership to support robust FY’07 funding levels. Slide 6: 6 Service-Learning Supporters Around the Country, there’s…Still Time To Make a Difference for Service-Learning On YOUR OWN TIME, call your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative(s). The Capitol switchboard is (202) 224-3121 Talking Points: Hello, my name is _________ and I am a constituent I am calling to ask Senator/Representative __________ to provide $43 million for Learn and Serve America in the Labor-HHS Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2007 At a cost of less than $25 per participant, this is an extremely cost-effective federal program. The proposed funding level of $34.1 million would mean that more than 300,000 students would be unable to participate in service-learning programs In your state/district, the impact of this kind of cut would mean ______________ Learn and Serve America is a public-private partnership that impacts the lives of young people, schools and communities, while improving students’ academic skills and citizenship If the member visited your service-learning site, be sure to remind the person on the phone, thank them and ask that they continue to support this important program Understand What You CAN Do : 7 Understand What You CAN Do On your own.. Anything! Representing an organization… Most 501(c)(3) non-profits can lobby within the limits drawn by the IRS Resources: www.clpi.org and www.irs.gov Section 501(h) and Form 5768 Understand What You CAN Do : 8 Understand What You CAN Do As a Learn and Serve America Grantee… Educate elected officials Inform the media Publicize results of your work Create partnerships with government agencies Provide technical assistance to policymakers or legislative committees Understand What You CAN Do : 9 Understand What You CAN Do In general, Do: Educate policymakers about LSA Demonstrate the need for and impact of your program Ask for your legislator’s support, recognition of LSA Don’t: Express support or opposition to a particular piece of legislation Endorse a candidate or political party Slide 10: 10 Safe Ways to Affect Public Policy 1. Direct communications with legislators or their staff about a general issue of concern where there is either: (a) no reference to specific legislation or (b) no view expressed on such legislation. 2. Most grassroots communications to the public about a general issue of concern where there is either: (a) no reference to specific legislation, (b) no position taken on the legislation or (c) no call to action. 3. Communications with executive officials (i.e., president, governors, mayors) or their staff about a general concern where there is either: (a) no reference to specific legislation, (b) no position taken on the legislation or (c) the official or staff person will not participate in forming the legislation. Slide 11: 11 Safe Ways to Affect Public Policy 4. Actions to affect regulations or other acts implementing existing laws that are performed by administrative bodies. 5. Class action lawsuits or similar public interest litigation in attempts to influence judicial bodies. 6. Self-defense lobbying activities directed at legislators or their staff (but not to the general public) on matters that might affect the organization's existence, powers, duties, exempt status, etc. 7. Responding to written request from a legislative body (not a single legislator) for technical assistance on pending legislation. 9. Discussion of broad social, economic and similar policy issues requiring legislative solution so long as the discussion does not address the merits of specific legislation. 10. Communications to members of an electing public charity (not applicable to members of a private foundation) that discuss specific legislation but do not urge action by the members. 11. Private lobbying activity taken by foundation managers on their own time and at their own expense.   (Reprinted from Foundations and Lobbying: Council on Foundations) Engaging Critical Stakeholders : 12 Engaging Critical Stakeholders Coalitions – Find strength in numbers. With whom in your state or local community should you form coalitions? Who gives you added voice or credibility and in what areas? Message – Position what you want. What do want to accomplish? What message resonates with this audience? Are there effective communication vehicles through which you can market your message? Critical Stakeholders to Consider : 13 Critical Stakeholders to Consider After School Alliance www.afterschool.org Adult Service Clubs (e.g., Lions Clubs) Campus Compact www.compact.org Camp Fire USA Councils www.campfireusa.org Character Education Advocates www.charactereducationpartnership.org Civic Mission of Schools www.civicmissionofschools.org Governors’ Offices on Children and Family Policy Local School Board/Affiliates of the National School Board Association www.nsba.org National Community Education Association www.ncea.org State Chapters of the National Education Association www.nea.org State Service Commissions and Senior Corps Programs And the List Goes On…! Slide 14: 14 What Service-Learning Supporters Can Do…Specific Marketing Strategies Share your best stories that illustrate how service-learning and Learn and Serve America impact the lives of young people, schools and communities Invite your Representatives to join the House National Service Congressional Caucus Organize opportunities to showcase service-learning at your state capitol or state department of education Resources: www.servicelearningunited.org www.ysa.org www.compact.org www.seanetonline.org or www.ecs.org Slide 15: 15 What Service-Learning Supporters Can Do…Specific Marketing Strategies What You Can Do in Your Own Backyard Invite federal, state and local elected officials to visit your service-learning site, and invite the media too Meet with staff from the local offices of your Members of Congress or state legislators Join online forums of service-learning advocates to receive regular news and updates about policy that impacts service-learning Resources: www.service-learningpartnership.org www.ysa.org Slide 16: 16 What Service-Learning Supporters Can Do Right Now…Specific Marketing Strategies What You Can Do in Your Own Backyard Email, call policymakers Encourage others to do the same Write LTEs, Op-eds for local or national papers What Service-Learning Supporters Can Do…More Specific Marketing Strategies : 17 What Service-Learning Supporters Can Do…More Specific Marketing Strategies Send information to your Members of Congress Tools You Can Use: Policy resource materials at: www.servicelearningunited.org Send a profile of your program to your elected officials. Find their contact information at: http://ga1.org/campaign/savelsa Communicate Your Message to the Media Tools You Can Use: Download media resource materials and send a letter to the editor to media outlets in your local area at: www.servicelearningunited.org Slide 18: 18 One Last Word… Additional Tools & Resources: Campus Compact www.compact.org Camp Fire USA www.campfireusa.org Education Commission of the States (Nat’l Center for Learning and Citizenship) www.ecs.org National Service-Learning Partnership www.service-learningpartnership.org Service-Learning United www.servicelearningunited.org SEANet www.seanetonline.org Youth Service America www.ysa.org Contact Information : 19 Contact Information Service-Learning United Service-Learning United is a growing alliance of state and national organizations that represent K-12 schools, tribes, community- based organizations, colleges and universities. This alliance is committed to a coordinated effort to increase resources and recognition across all streams of service- learning through public engagement and policy strategies. www.servicelearningunited.org

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