Legislation / Public Policy Program
Purpose: The goals of Legislation/ Public Policy during this administration include:
* Educating members about both GFWC's legislative priorities and about how the legislative process works;
*Mobilizing our members to raise a united voice to advocate for those priorities; and
* Rebuilding the GFWC name into a brand that lawmakers (and others) recognize.
Educate Members about GFWC's Advocacy Efforts • Appoint a club Legislation/Public Policy Chairman or designate a member to be responsible for reporting to the club on GFWC's advocacy efforts and the organization's resolutions.
* Give a club presentation on the GFWC Legislative Action Center. Have one or more members bring their computer to the meeting and help club members sign up for this advocacy tool.
* Educate members on the "Recognize the Red" campaign.
* Give a presentation on the bills that will be the subject of the 2018-2020 Legislative Focus Project.
* Reprint information from GFWC in your club newsletter or forward it to members via email.
* Invite a Legislation/Public Policy Chairman or committee member from the national, state, or district level to speak about GFWC's impressive history of advocacy and its current advocacy efforts.
Educate Members on the Legislative Process and How to Advocate
* Present a club program on how a bill becomes a law. Consider playing the video "I'm Just a Bill" from Schoolhouse Rock (available on YouTube), which provides lots of information about the legislative process.
*Encourage club members to contact their senators and representatives via written correspondence, the LAC, or phone calls. Provide them with the tips for communicating with their legislators found in the Club Manual.
* Draft and distribute a sample letter for club members to send on a specific issue.
* Bring paper, envelopes, and stamps to each club meeting and have members write to their senator/ representative urging passage of a bill or write to the senator/representative chairing the committee to which the bill was sent urging it be voted out of the committee. ALWAYS SIGN THE LETTER WITH A RED PEN AND PUT GFWC AFTER YOUR NAME IN RED, WRITE YOUR RETURN ADDRESS IN RED, AND PUT A BIG RED CHECK MARK ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE ENVELOPE.
* Present a program to teach members about the various levels of government (city, county, state, and national) where they can use their advocacy skills.
* Develop and distribute a directory that lists contact information for public officials and their staff.
Educate Members on the Issues
* If your club becomes interested in a particular issue, invite an elected official to a meeting to discuss that issue. Make this an open meeting, where you invite the general public to attend.
* Become familiar with women's caucuses at both the state and national level. Determine what issues they are focused on and if those issues interest your club.
* Educate your members and the community on the effect of budget cuts on programs designed to benefit women and children.
* Ask members to be on the lookout for articles on public policy issues that are of interest and/or concern to them. If possible, email these articles to other members or provide them with copies at the club meeting. Use these articles to foster discussion and debate about public policy issues.
Have Your Members Take Action
* Make an appointment with a state or national legislator in his or her home office to discuss GFWC's top legislative priorities.
* If there is an issue before a legislative body that you want to advocate for or against, hold a letter-writing campaign in your club.
* Hold a legislative day for your club, during which you visit your state legislature or local council meeting to advocate for an issue or piece of legislation that is important to you and your community. Consider partnering with other groups for this day. For instance, if the issue is domestic violence, consider partnering with a state or local advocacy group whose sole focus is domestic violence awareness and prevention.