Be a Champ for Children
Kids don’t know politics, but every day they are affected by public policies and laws. It’s up to the grown-ups to speak up and make sure those policies and laws are good for kids’ health and well-being. To help adults advocate for kids effectively, we are launching our Be a Champ for Children 365 program to make advocacy resources and tools available to advocates any time of the day, any day of the year.
Nationally recognized grassroots advocacy expert Nancy Amidei has shared with us tips, resources, and strategies for influencing public policy. Read through any and all of these materials to see how one person can really make a difference.
Meet Nancy Amidei
Recently retired after working for the University of Washington School of Social Work from 1992-2008, Nancy Amidei continues to direct the the Civic Engagement Project (CEP), which works with non-profit organizations throughout the country. CEP offers advocacy training, speeches, workshops, and resource materials for work at federal, state, and local levels.
A writer, teacher and advocate, Amidei has been involved in social policy from both inside and outside government. She is a former Director of the Food Research and Action Center (a national anti-hunger group). She also served in the Carter Administration as a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the federal department of Health, Education, and Welfare (now DHHS), and in the early 70s she was on the Staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs. For many years she wrote a weekly e-mail bulletin, “Policy Watch,” that described the Washington State legislative process. Focused chiefly on health, human services, and civil rights issues, Policy Watch helped readers understand what happens as a legislative session unfolds. Among her writings are: a guide to policy advocacy called, “So You Want To Make A Difference,” and a play called, “How Ms. Bill Became A Law.”
During the 1980s she wrote a weekly column that appeared in newspapers around the country, and did commentaries for National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” Amidei also participates as a co-author of a Legislative Simulation and a curriculum for an annual three-day Advocacy Camp, and she serves on a variety of national and local non-profit agency boards.
Watch this video to meet Nancy Amidei!
Be a Champ for Children 365
Many people would like to influence the public laws and public budgets that affect their lives, but just don’t know how to get started. Learn about a few easy steps to do just that. (Word.doc) Watch a quick video about how to get started.
Bite Sized Advocacy Ideas
Advocacy means to support or defend a cause, or to plead on another's behalf. Learn about five ideas for fitting advocacy into busy lives. (Word.doc) Watch a quick video to learn about bite sized advocacy ideas .
If you want your appeals to produce results: make taking action easy; make it time-limited; and design it to fit into busy lives. Learn more about one version that gets results. (Word.doc) Watch Nancy Amidei's tips on how to fit advocacy into busy lives .
Read about some essential tips and tools to keep in mind when it's time to contact legislators. (Word.doc) Watch a video on essential tips and tools.
For Public Employees: Being an Advocate from the Inside
Learn how to speak up on your own time, using your own resources, in your own personal style. (Word.doc) Watch a quick video on how to advocate in your own personal style .