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How to work with local/state policymakers on hepatitis B
Transcript of How to work with local/state policymakers on hepatitis B
Isha Weerasinghe, MSc
Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO)
Why advocate on the local/state level?
to let your larger community know about the importance of addressing hepatitis B!
to build local champions
to increase funding for your organization/coalition
Congressperson's district office
Senate district office
State Senate offices
State Assembly offices
City Council person
I know how to reach my legislator. What should I do next?
Visit their office!
Invite them to an event that you're hosting.
Even if you're not having an event, plan a site visit!
Planning a site visit/inviting legislator to an event
Rep. Adam Smith and Sen. Patty Murray visit ICHS during National Health Center Week, 2016
Who are the players?
How can we do that?
Write a letter to policymaker's staff and to scheduler (if Congressperson/Senator). [Examples will be provided in "handout" section and on website.]
Call policymaker's office.
Visit them and ask!
What are some other ways to build relationships with policymakers in your area?
Visit a town hall
(use one-pagers on HBU's website!) to let your legislator know about how hepatitis B affects your patients/clients.
Find like-minded groups (e.g. in the African immigrant, hep C, African-American, and immigrant communities) and
build an advocacy coalition
I know all of my local policymakers. Now what?
Work with them to
write a proclamation
on viral hepatitis/hepatitis B during a significant day (e.g. National Hepatitis Testing Day).
Study your city/state budget calendar
This will help you with applying for $$$, but also with knowing when the policymaker is in town.
Find partners who work with the city/state government regularly who can help you with advocacy efforts.
How do I reach my policymaker?
Office of City council, State Senate, Congressperson, Senator, Mayor websites
Use this link to find your elected officials: http://bit.ly/1vFd2Gm.
I scheduled a meeting with my policymaker. Now what?
During the meeting
Introduce yourself. Define how you're connected to the area.
Tell your story/a relevant story.
Keep it brief!
Bring local statistics.
The more local, the better.
If you have an ask, let them know. If not, you could use messaging from the Hep B United Summit one-pagers [on website].
Carving out discretionary funds to provide hepatitis B services to xx organization/s.
Having policymaker participate in event.
Let staffer/policymaker know that you can be a resource to them.
Bring a business card, leave behind materials (if necessary), and follow up!
Follow-up with any materials/points that staff/policymaker asked for in the meeting.
Follow them on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.)