Does advocacy really produce results? The proof is in the legislation.
Working hand-in-hand with World Vision, people like you have sent tens of thousands of messages to the U.S. Congress. These advocacy efforts have resulted in life-saving legislation, such as the U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act; the Child Soldier Prevention Act; and the Clean Diamonds Trade Act. Bills like these have helped bring relief and protection to children living in poverty around the world.
You can add your voice to this chorus, speaking out for the poorest and most vulnerable. Many of you already have.
The most critical starting point for advocacy is to become familiar with the issue. World Vision provides up-to-date information at www.worldvision.org/advocacy. You can also identify your members of Congress and send them an email on issues like child trafficking, global hunger, malaria, and more.
It is the job of the elected officials to listen to the concerns of the people they represent. For this reason, elected officials welcome feedback and input from their constituents. It is important to let them know which issues you are passionate about. You may not have direct access to the elected official, but by writing, you let him or her know what is important to you, as a constituent.
When writing letters to a representative, remember that the more creative and innovative you can be, the more likely you are to attract attention from your member of Congress. The most compelling way to do this is to involve a large number of people and have them all send in the same kind of letter — whether an email, a written letter, a form of postcard, or another creative idea.
While sending emails to Congress is a great first step, calling your members is even more effective. Just 10 calls to a member of Congress can turn an invisible issue into a priority. It takes hundreds of emails to equal the persuasive power of one 30-second phone call.
We have set up call logs for certain issues to help you make phone calls. It’s quite simple. You input your zip code to look up the phone number of your lawmakers, and we provide a very short call script that doesn't require you to say more than two or three sentences. You will most likely just leave a message for your elected official.
Our online call tool now provides you with the phone number for the local, in-district office of your lawmaker, in addition to the number for main office in Washington, D.C. We have found that calling in-district offices has an even greater impact. A call to these offices regarding global poverty or the exploitation of children stands out more, because it is so unusual for calls on these issues to be made to in-district offices.
For more advocacy ideas, check out World Vision’s “Citizen Guide to Advocacy,” or visit www.worldvision.org/advocacy for more resources, including issue updates, our Speakers Bureau, and ways to pray.