Daily Resource Highlight - 07/25/2022

Posted by on July 25, 2022 at 1:17 PM

Below are the highlights and featured resources of this past week’s Daily* Resource.

July 19, 2022 - How to Advocate Effectively; And Get Knowledgeable About Climate Change, Voting Reform, and More

When I worked on the Hill as an intern, a chunk of my day was spent sorting emails from constituents. More often than not, most of the emails were part of an advocacy campaign, with an interest group asking its members to reach out. It was very obvious when a campaign was happening, too, as there would be dozens of nearly identical emails. According to the Congressional Management Foundation, these campaigns now represent 70-90% of all emails that members of Congress receive.

These campaigns can be helpful, especially for raising awareness. But they are not a substitute for personal contact when it comes to persuading lawmakers. That’s why a major trade association switched from large scale email campaigns to training 535 “local expert-members” – one for each member of Congress – to build relationships with their assigned legislator and explain the association’s positions on various issues.

So let’s try a thought experiment. What topic are you passionate enough about that you would want to be a “local expert-member” for an advocacy group? Do you know enough about it to be the advocate for your representative? Here are some topics and resources to help you think it through:

You should also check out Citizen Connect, where over 500 organizations are posting opportunities for you to get involved. And if you do get involved, consider taking CMF’s advice to heart and suggesting it to your chosen advocacy group. You might just help them convince some key legislators.

July 21, 2022 - Celebrating Women in Power, Whether Elected, Appointed, or Otherwise

There are only 9 female Governors in the USA (RepresentWomen), and that’s actually tied for the most there’s ever been. Part of the reason for this is simple – incumbency advantage is strong and most Governors have been male. But there are other barriers, too. For example, women (especially Republican women) tend to get less funding from PACs and donors.

Given these realities, let’s celebrate those women who overcame the odds! One way to do so is by submitting your nominations for the 2022 NFWL Elected Women of Excellence Awards (deadline September 1st). Importantly, these awards are open to women at all levels of government, including local offices.

Of course, getting elected isn’t the only way to achieve power and help change the world. For instance, the Sphere Education Initiative will host Dana Kopelman as the keynote speaker for its Summit next Monday, July 25th @ 7 PM ET. Dana is the Executive Director of AP Instruction for the College Board, which over 1 million American students took part in last year.

And another path to great influence is by serving as an advisor to the person in charge. That’s why RepresentWomen recently put the spotlight on state cabinets. In states where the governor appoints their own cabinet, less than 40% of cabinet members were women. Nevertheless, 13 state cabinets have gender parity or are majority women – including heavily populated states like California, Florida, and Ohio. You can read more in RepresentWomen’s report.

So while female leaders in America still tend to be the exception rather than the rule, we are hopeful that organizations like RepresentWomen and National Foundation for Women Legislators will help young women who want to serve in public office. And we cannot wait to tell you about their progress.