ADVOCACY ACTION TOOLKIT

Be a CHAMPION for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Issues!

You can make a difference!

Advocacy from those directly impacted by an issue is a critical part of advocacy success and raising the visibility of an issue. Legislators want to hear from those directly impacted by legislation, an issue, or a legislative request, not just professional lobbyists. NJACP members, individuals, and families make a difference. We hope this toolkit, which will be updated as necessary, encourages you to reach out to your legislators and other ways to be effective advocates. We want to make it easy for you to take action, build relationships with your representative’s office, and highlight the important work you do to serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the community.

RESOURCES

Click here to view helpful state and federal resources.

Ways to Take Action as an Advocate for Intellectual and developmental disabilities

1. Identify your legislators/representatives

  • Congress has a website to use your address/zip code to determine your representative.
  • Congressional “Find Your Representatives
  • NJ State Legislators have a “Find Your Legislator” link to find your legislator in following ways:
  • District Map
  • District List – list of towns in each district
  • Current Roster – learn the background, committee appointments and education status of your legislator here.
  • NJ Legislature HELP page: Any questions about abbreviations (lots of acronyms in the legislative arena), where to find information on the NJ Legislature, bills, et can be found here.

2. Meeting with your legislator/representative

Via phone: What to say when scheduling a meeting.

Hi! I’m a constituent of Senator (Last Name) and I’m calling to ask the (legislators name) for a meeting to discuss (insert a quick description of your issue, if a bill, include the bill number. Thanks so much and have a great day!

Click here for step-by-step instructions to speak to legislators. – first, attached document can be linked

Visit NJACP’s Take Action page for the latest issues and talking points – needs to be linked

3. Say Thank You!

Send/email/call whenever the legislator votes for a bill/issue you support. It is important legislators hear from you to say thank you or attention to doing good things.

4. Utilize Social Media

Legislators notice your social media posts. In NJ Twitter may be the most popular but aim to post there and wherever their website indicates they have an account. Remember to tag lawmakers for example, Senate President Nick Scutari, is on Twitter @SenPresScutari.

Click here for known Twitter addresses of the 220th Legislature

NJACP Can Help You Plan

NJACP is here to help. We can tell you about recent developments or votes and give you an insider look at the best approach to take.

Reach out to Maureen Shea, Director of Government Affairs at mshea@njacp.org