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PSM: Taking Action Catholic Charities USA's Guide to Effective Advocacy

PSM: Taking Action Catholic Charities USA's Guide to Effective Advocacy

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PSM: Taking Action Catholic Charities Usas Guide to Effective Advocacy
PSM: Taking Action Catholic Charities Usas Guide to Effective Advocacy

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Published by: Catholic Charities USA on Dec 13, 2012
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Taking Action:Catholic Charities USA’sGuide to Effective Advocacy
Catholic Charities USA
 Sixty-Six Canal Center PlazaSuite 600Alexandria, VA 22314(703) 549-1390www.catholiccharitiesusa.org 
Table of Contents
Page 3
Part I: Understanding our Call and Commitment
Page 4What is Advocacy? Understanding the Task Before Us
Page 5Why Advocacy? Understanding our Call and Commitment Page 7
Part II: Building a Framework for Action
Page 11Know Your Rights:
Lobby Laws and What You Can Do Page 12Getting Started:
Building Your Capacity for Advocacy Page 13Getting Started: Creating Your Advocacy Strategy
Page 17Getting Started: Framing Your Issue
Page 22
Part III: Tools You Can Use
Page 26Cultivating Relationships with Your Elected Officials Page 27That Powerful Pen: Write to Your Legislator Effectively Page 29It’s Your Call: Connecting with your Legislator by Phone Page 33Face to Face: How to Visit your Legislator Page 35Show and Tell: How to Host a Site Visit Page 38Your Expert Advice: How to Give Legislative Testimony Page 41The Power of Press: How To Work Effectively with the Media Page 44Face the Facts: How to Create Effective Fact Sheets Page 54Stronger Together: Building and Working in Coalitions Page 56
Part IV: Appendices and Resources
Page 59Appendix A: Catholic Social Teaching Resources Page 60Appendix B: Glossary of Common Legislative Terms Page 64Appendix C: The Federal Legislative Process Page 69Appendix D: The Federal Budget Process Page 73Appendix E: Players in the Federal Legislative Process Page 78
Introduction to the Manual
From the beginnings of the movement, Catholic Charities agencies have recognized theirdual mission to serve the poor and
advocate for effective social policies to eradicate thecauses of poverty. We are called by Scripture, the tradition and leadership of the Church,and Catholic social teaching to raise our voices for the common good, speaking with and onbehalf of the vulnerable. We are called to be architects – to partner with others and rebuildour nation on a framework of justice.As an architect begins to build with a vision and a blueprint to guide him, so must we havea vision and strategy for our advocacy work. Advocates can use this manual as a blueprintfor building a campaign around an issue, ultimately leading to a more just nation. Themanual aims to assist Catholic Charities agencies and staff members as they build theircapacity to participate in policy development and advocacy efforts in local, state, andnational government and at Catholic Charities USA.Like a good blueprint, the manual contains both basic frameworks and specific details insidethose frameworks. You will find the basics in sections about the meaning of advocacy, ourcall to embrace it, and summaries of the legislative and budget processes. You will finddetails to guide your work within those frameworks in “How To” tips for strategies rangingfrom communicating with legislators and the media to designing your advocacy action plan.You will find links to suggested further resources throughout the manual and listed in theAppendices. Also, many sections link to
Catholic Charities USA’s E-Advocacy Tool http://capwiz.com/catholiccharitiesusa/home/ )
, an online tool that enables you tosearch for information about elected officials and media and then contact them directly. Weurge you to use these resources as you build your strategy. Finally, be sure to contact theSocial Policy staff at CCUSA with further questions as you proceed.
Your membership in Catholic Charities USA offers you a wealth of advocacyresources.
The Social Policy Staff at the National Member Service Center is here to provideyou with tools to connect with your legislators, tips on how to do so effectively, on-siteadvocacy training in your agency, in-depth legislative analysis, and representation to federallawmakers of your interests and the interests of those you serve.
This manual is an updated version of the advocacy manual producedin 2003 by Catholic Charities USA. The principal author of the original manual wasconsultant Karabelle Pizzigati. This updated version was edited and authored by consultantNatalie Halbach, with assistance from Catholic Charities USA staff: Candy Hill, Senior VicePresident for Social Policy; Christin Driscoll, Senior Director for Policy Development andAdvocacy; and Karen Wong, Legislative Policy and Research Analyst.

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