Inspired by the Holy Spirit and a deepening desire for justice, parishes are increasinglyrecognizing the call to serve the poor and
advocate for effective social policies to eradicatethe causes of poverty. We are called by Scripture, tradition, the leadership of our Churchand Catholic social teaching to raise our voices for the common good, speaking with and onbehalf of the vulnerable. This manual aims to assist you as you build your parish’slegislative advocacy efforts at the local, state, national and international level.We are called to be architects – to partner with others so as to begin to rebuild our nationon a foundation that respects the dignity of every person and promotes the common good.As an architect begins to build with a vision and a blueprint as guides, so too must we havea vision and a strategy for our advocacy efforts. It is our hope that you can use this manualas a blueprint for building a campaign around an issue, marshalling the voices of fellowparishioners as you advocate with and for the least among us. Throughout the manual andin the appendices you will find links to suggested further resources. Use these links as younetwork with local, state, national and international organizations already doing legislativeadvocacy. Joining our voices as one will enhance our ability to advocate for justice, be ourefforts on the local, state, national or international level.Finally, it is important to note that every parish is at a unique stage of implementing anylegislative advocacy strategy. Therefore, we urge you to adapt the recommended steps inthis manual to the particular needs and situation of your parish.
This manual is an updated version of the advocacy manual produced in 2003 by Catholic Charities USA. The principal author of the original manual was consultant Karabelle Pizzigati. This updated versionwas edited and authored by consultant Natalie Halbach, with assistance from Catholic Charities USA staff: Candy Hill, Senior Vice President for Social Policy; Christin Driscoll, Senior Director for Policy Development and Advocacy,Karen Wong, Legislative Policy and Research Analyst, Kristi Schulenberg, former director of Parish Social Ministry,Rachel Lustig, Director of Parish Social Ministry and Brian Stevens, Manager of Parish Social Ministry Training.