What is an Advocacy Liaison?
Advocacy is a part of all members of PTA. The school Advocacy Liaison (formerly called the Legislative Chair) should be a standing member of your local PTA/PTSA unit that serves as a critical link to the Colorado PTA at the state level, and to the National PTA. By utilizing this information conduit, advocacy liaisons can directly communicate information on current legislation, community issues, and happenings at our state legislature to their members, and in return bring vital feedback direct from units to help create and support legislation that improves the lives of all children in Colorado. If a unit does not have an Advocacy Liaison, that responsibility falls to the President.
Keeping Members Informed
Duties are simple! Advocacy Liaisons are offered training and the opportunity to be a part of the Jeffco PTA Legislative Committee and the Colorado PTA Legislative Committee. In order to be effective, a spot for the Advocacy Liaison to provide an update to members should be a part of every PTA meeting agenda. The Advocate’s Alley, a monthly advocate’s update, will help Advocacy Liaison keep members informed to help share district, state and even national news in K-12 Education.
Remember that advocacy is simply speaking up for children. Any PTA/PTSA member can advocate in your child’s classroom, your school, your community, your school district, your state, and even your country. As a PTA/PTSA organization,Jeffco PTA can only advocate for/against issues, never for/against a specific candidate. Our advocacy liaisons are free to be politically involved however they see fit as an individual not representing a PTA/PTSA.
With just 10 days before the doors open to our schools, you and your units are probably well under way preparing for the upcoming school year. So I’ll keep this email brief with just a few advocacy agenda items for you to know and things to can share and discuss in your upcoming PTA Executive Board meetings:
- Advocacy Survey- Thanks to all who participated in the JCPTA Advocacy Gear Up survey giving your insight and feedback on what we can do in advocacy this year. Alameda High School PTSA President Eddie Velasquez is the lucky winner of a gift card to eat up as we gear up for advocacy. Congrats Eddie!
- Let’s Talk- The results of the survey relayed a clear desire for good, solid, clear, concise information to be shared to and from Jeffco and Colorado PTA to you at the local unit level. Results of the survey will be shared during an in-person and webinar format later this month. More information will be coming later this week so keep an eye out….
- Listening Ears- As you meet with your Executive Board and have your first general assembly meetings, consider having a few moments on your agenda to reflect on what advocacy at your school can look like with your fellow PTA members by asking: How do we determine what is the most important thing to our school/community right now in advocacy to move our school/school district forward? What are we willing to do as a group when we get this information?
- Campaigns and Ballot Initiatives- As we enter an election season with campaigns and ballot initiatives for our schools, it’s important to know what your role can look like as a leader on your PTA, and the difference as a private citizen. Here is a handy quick reference sheet with basic information to share with your members. There will be more discussion about Do’s and Don’ts in our upcoming training conversations, but in the mean time the best thing to do is ASK before taking action as a local unit.
Questions, comments, concerns or complaints (equal opportunity to speak up here) please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can always ask your school’s AAVP for more information and guidance as well. We are here to help you get off on the right foot in 2016 for our schools.
We are stronger when we work together…