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California State University, Long Beach
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Advocacy on behalf of the Beach

Advocacy is the legal practice that individuals participate in order to influence elected officials to support public higher education

Tips to become an Advocate

  • To make an appointment send a fax to the scheduler of the elected official to whom you wish to speak, requesting a 20 minute meeting, indicating your agenda item(s) and the name and identification of the individual(s) who will be in attendance. You can get the name of the scheduler by calling the office first.
  • Follow up within a week by a telephone call to the scheduler asking for an appointment. It may take several calls before you get your appointment. Be persistent until you get your appointment.
  • Finalize your agenda and goal(s) for the meeting. You will be asking the elected official to support, not support or stay neutral on a specific bill or issue.
  • Leave-behind papers are a reminder of your “ask”. Knowing the officials history with higher education is important, so that you may acknowledge their past support at the beginning of the meeting.
  • Be sure everyone in your group is prepared beforehand by talking about the issue(s) and the goals before the meeting with the elected official.
  • Arrive a few minutes early to the meeting. Never keep an elected official waiting, so any late arrivals should stay away from the meeting once it starts.
  • Listen well to the elected official, remembering that you are there to build a relationship, so do not argue with the official.
  • If an official asks a question you cannot answer, don’t “guess”, rather tell the official that you will research it and get back with an answer to his/her question.”
  • Make your case even if the official has taken an “opposed” position to your “ask”. If the official has taken a “yes” on your issue, give him or her information to keep the official apprised of how the issue impacts you and his district constituents.
  • After the meeting thank the official for his time, and immediately write the official a short thank you note, reaffirming your key points. Follow up with answer to any questions asked of you that you promised to research.
  • Report the outcome of your visit to the Office of Government Relations at 562-985-8816. This office can also help you with the research.
  • Stay engaged with the issue and follow up with the official until your issue is acted upon. To stay apprised of the bills go to http://leginfo.ca.gov. You can sign up at this site to receive updates on the specific bill(s) you are following. You can also research the record of legislators at this site.