Become an Advocate

What is advocacy?

  • Advocacy is telling your story to someone in a decision-making capacity, your "audience", through various means, with the purpose of compelling them to do (or not do) something.
  • Advocacy is a process that normally takes time to achieve results – don't give up!
  • Advocacy has many forms, and is personal to your own style and comfort level.
  • Advocacy is empowering – exerting some form of control and initiating action around issues that matter to you.
  • Advocacy is action, bringing about tangible change. Raising awareness and educating people about your issues can be part of the advocacy process, but is not advocacy.
  • Advocacy is NOT radical. Advocacy is reasonable, grounded in sound, rational thought. For example, protesters who chain themselves to a tree to prevent it from being cut down are engaging in activism, NOT advocacy.

Why is advocacy important?

  • YOU, as a voter and a taxpayer have the power to affect change. There is nobody better positioned to speak out on issues that affect you, than YOU.
  • Decision-makers react to credible groups or individuals who most effectively bring their issues to the forefront.
  • Most governments, organizations, doctors, teachers, employers and other officials have multiple interests and concerns that must be addressed, as well as their own policy priorities and financial challenges; those who can best engage in the advocacy process will have their voices heard.
  • Speaking out about the change you want to government, your doctor, teacher, your employer – anyone in a decision-making capacity – will help them understand your position and enact the change you need.
  • Those who do not engage have no say in decisions that fundamentally impact their lives.
Remember, YOU play the most important role in self-advocacy.