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.