Each year, Congress receives millions of communications from constituents.
A 2010 survey of congressional staff by the Congressional Management Foundation ranked various methods of communicating with members of Congress.
Getting involved in efforts to educate policymakers is time consuming, but has the potential to reward, in terms of influence and real dollars.
It is important that your voice be heard by your elected representatives in Congress for the following reasons:
What is the difference between advocacy and lobbying
Advocacy is a political process by an individual or a group which normally aims to influence public policy and resource allocation decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions.
Lobbying is a form of advocacy where a direct approach is made to legislators for or against specific legislation or regulation. Some jurisdictions prohibit health departments from lobbying. NACCHO recommends that you check the rules in your jurisdiction before engaging in lobbying activities.
There are many advocacy activities to participate in that are not lobbying, such as:
(More information about advocacy and lobbying is available from the Alliance for Justice.)
NACCHO's Congressional Action Network, which includes more than 600 local health department leaders, engages in advocacy on behalf of local health departments. NACCHO's Government Affairs staff provide CAN members with technical assistance, training and information about opportunities for advocacy on a regular basis.