January is “services” month – your month to create change. Here’s the plan:
- Identify an “Advocacy Deputy” in your organization. This person will be your advocacy organizer and be the point of contact for us. They can be anyone: Board Member, CEO, Program Manager, or Volunteer, etc. They just need to be someone willing to be responsive to us and to organize a few meetings a year.
- Have the Advocacy Deputy setup meetings with your legislators. The goal is to make these elected officials aware of your organization and who you serve.
The meetings should: A) Take place at your location. If you can’t meet there, schedule a meeting at the legislator’s office or over lunch/coffee. B) Include people from your audience/community, for example:a veteran, a senior, a couple youth, and/or someone with a different ability that benefits from your programs. Plan on bringing 4 people total: The Deputy plus three different people from your community. C) Have an ask: In that meeting your three people (and/or the Deputy) tell the legislator that we need $3.5 million for arts and culture in the next state budget and we need to be in the baseline(= recurring). Finding your legislator is super easy and it’s their job to meet with you!
Call and/or email them until they setup a meeting time (it’s usually someone in their office). The reason for the 3 points above is that we need to show them that we are paying attention and willing to show up and vote. We also need them to see who else we serve in addition to artists. And we need to ask for more. As you know, we only received $2 million the last two years for the whole state. If we want more support & funding for the arts than we must do things differently. Let’s lead with love & strength. We are a force to be reckoned with.