“I promise you, legislators listen to citizens,” says UUCA member Nan Orrock, who is a state senator.
A note from UUCA’s Promise the Children advocacy group
The Georgia legislature is in session…. And they’re in a hurry to get their 40 days over with and start campaigning for re-election… That means it is more difficult than usual to stop the BAD bills and get the GOOD bills voted on…
So. Speed is the name of the game for citizen advocates, too!
And our “Two Minute Advocacy Ask” is a speedy way to have your say.
For the next eight weeks, we’ll urge you make children a priority and call or email your state legislator when we ask you.
We provide a short message and contact information for key policy makers who need to hear from you. It will take just two-ish minutes!
Who is this “we”??
UUCA has been an active part of Georgia’s network of child policy & advocacy organizations for more than a decade, and we have watched the power of ordinary voices become (for real!) a powerful voice for the welfare of children.
UUCA’s group is “Promise the Children: Advocacy.” This is the second year for our “Two-Minute Asks.” There’s a social hall table each week thru Easter. There’ll be widely publicized “Asks” linked to the PTC website www.promisethechildrenatuuca.wordpress.com. So speak up with us! Children are a priority!
How do we know our advocacy is effective?
In spite of what you probably think, emailing and calling your state legislators makes a huge difference! Legislators listen to us, and so does the governor.
Last year the legislature passed, and the governor signed, every single piece of legislation that we child advocates worked for.
In the last 3 years, there have been amazing successes.
Last year, another big bill passed aimed at keeping children away from sex traffickers. This one will come with money to provide services to these young people (It has to be passed by voters in November – so get ready for more “Two-Minute Asks”!) The legislature began passing important sex trafficking bills a few years ago, when citizen advocates staged a rally at the Capitol and about 500 people showed up! Our voices have power.
Two years ago, Georgia passed one of the best Juvenile Justice bills in the nation after 4 years of prep and bill-development lead by the child advocacy community. The legislation got strong support from a flood of calls from citizen advocates like us. It got a kick over the finish line by Gov. Deal, who came to support it.
The Child Welfare System is another area where there have been changes. For three years, Gov. Deal has included extra money in the state budgets to fund hundreds of new caseworkers…. without them, the other major changes underway cannot succeed. OUR emails to legislators helped keep, and one year to increase, the money in the budget for those jobs.
And next year it will be Education Reform! The Education Reform Commission has reported in, and after the November elections, you can expect to see many “Asks” as advocates work to ensure a good outcome for all schools.
Meanwhile, in November, Georgians will vote up/down the statewide charter school amendment. PTC is promising both “Education” and “Asks.”
So! Local advocacy works! Join your voices, please, to the legions citizen advocates at UUCA and in other communities of faith. Together, we can continue making sure “good” legislation happens for children and families.
RESOURCES/ QUICK Links:
- Promise the Children (PTC) Website: www.promisethechildrenatuuca.wordpress.com. That’s where the “Two – Minute Asks” are posted!
- Contact PTC advocacy leaders at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- To find your elected official, visit Open States ( http://openstates.org )
- Join the elist of our partner, Voices for Georgia’s Children, and get the “Asks” as soon as we do! : http://georgiavoices.org
- Interfaith Children’s Movement (another partner) covers both advocacy and direct action. ( www.InterfaithChildrensMovement.org )
- Search the Georgia General Assembly website. There’s a live webcam! ( http://www.legis.ga.gov/en-US/default.aspx )
Thanks for making children a priority!