Thursday, March 20, 2008

Advocacy basically means Lobbying

For many years, I have been involved lobbying lawmakers to address the need for services and protect the rights of people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Directly and indirectly. In the same way, I have with other organizations like National Multiple Sclerosis Society to raise money. Its that time of year, the only time I am ever get contacted by National Multiple Sclerosis Society is when they are raising money which got me thinking that organizations like NMSS are lobbyists. A basic definition of lobbying as an attempt to influence someone or government into action. Many organizations including deaf organizations like AG Bell (which I dislike) are lobbyists. AG Bell spent alot of money on lobbying. An advocate (lobbying) is one who speaks on behalf of another person or group. An 'advocacy group' is an organized collection of people who seek to influence political decisions and policy. I realized that an advocate does not always work to pass legislation without people.

By nature, many of us are lobbyists. Lobbying basically means promoting or opposing defeat, or enactment of anything like laws relating to disabilties or medical research funding or anything else of that nature. We all are the biggest advocate even though we have NMSS but my thought is this, do they just want money from us? What else can we do?

Start at home because the most successful method for educating and persuading lawmakers to support any bill is to lobby in our home districts rather than Washington D.C. by communicating with our elected officials in the district. Prayfully and hopefully, we will find a legislator is not only sympathetic to our cause but actually be zealous for us.

Advocacy or lobbying is a long-term commitment. Never short-term.

So, what can I do when I can't affort to "donate" money, especially at this time of economic period?

Just rambling some thoughts.



Well spoken, Jim! Thank you...

Linda D. in Seattle

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

"So, what can I do when I can't affort to "donate" money, especially at this time of economic period?"

There has to be ways where you can contribute your time. It's just as valuable.