RCS District Office
P.O. Box 100
15 Mountain Road
Ravena, NY 12143
(518) 756-5200
Robert K. Libby,
Superintendent

orange bar bullet RCS Advocacy

 

What does effective advocacy look like?

 

Personal contact with legislators helps build relationships and establish lines of communication that ensure the district’s story is being heard. Whether you choose to contact your representatives by phone, e-mail or in-person, please keep in mind the following tips to help you convey your message in the most effective way possible: 

  • Be brief - Stick to your key points and be mindful that legislators are often very busy and face a variety of special interest groups that compete for their time and attention.
  • Be respectful - Even if you disagree on a position, be respectful in your dialogue and stick to the facts. When appropriate be passionate, not emotional.
  • Be clear and specific - Let legislators know exactly what you want them to do (i.e., vote in favor of a bill, pass legislation) in a way that requires a “yes” or “no” response. Ask them how they will vote, follow-up on your conversation, and hold them accountable.
  • Be a reliable source of information - Research your issue and know the facts so that you can provide information to legislators and answer their questions. Do not assume that legislators know specifics about the school district or education issues in general.
  • Be prepared to follow-up with answers to any questions you may not know on the spot.
  • Be honest about your concerns - Paint the real picture of your situation, even if it is scary. Share the ramifications of an action/inaction for your community’s schools and children. Use personal or compelling stories coupled with facts and data. 
  • Be timely and persistent - If an issue has a deadline, such as the passage of the state budget, make sure you give legislators enough time to respond to the issue. Frequent, regular reminders about the importance of the issue, particularly from multiple advocates, can increase the likelihood that legislators will pay attention to the cause.