JUST RELEASED! CADCA'S ADVOCACY TOOLKIT

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Advocacy is a key part of the public policy process. Numerous policy issues constantly compete for attention at the local, state and national levels. Legislators are generalists and rely on subject matter experts to guide their decision making. Therefore, it is critical to understand how to be an effective advocate for your cause and get your issue on legislators’ policy radar screens. Advocacy can take many forms, from meeting with a legislator in Washington, DC, to attending a town hall in your local community, to sending an email to a legislative staffer. Everyone who wants to participate in advocacy can do so regardless of experience level or time constraints. Learn to get your issue on the policy radar screen so that you can make a difference in your community.

This guide will teach you how to engage in advocacy for substance use prevention, but the principles covered can be applied to any advocacy effort at any level of government. The guide explains how to be a vocal, visible and valuable advocate and gives an overview of the difference between education and lobbying. It provides guidance for developing an effective advocacy strategy. It explains the federal legislative process and will help you prepare to meet with your legislators. This guide will help you maximize your meetings with legislators to ensure that you make an impact for your policy concerns. Even if you are unable to travel to Washington, DC or to your state capitol, the guide offers information on other types of advocacy activities.