What do you care about? Maybe it’s social justice issues, the environment, homelessness or any of the other myriad worthy causes out there. Although we all are concerned about such issues, talk about them, post about them – how do we really make a difference? How do we create systemic change?
Don’t stop reading! I promise I’m not judging. Like many of you, I care deeply about the future and our environment, but beyond my work and the small changes I’ve made in my personal life, I often feel helpless to bring about change. Problems seem too big and overly complex for me to resolve, and my voice seems too inconsequential to affect change.
Some people help by donating to a cause (amazing!) or volunteering (even better). Both can be incredibly rewarding and important, however, often I ask, “Are we really getting to the root of the problem?”
In my time developing programming with Leaders 2020, we’ve brought in dozens of respected local leaders working on various quality-of-life issues, ranging from energy to housing affordability. In almost every discussion, one of our members asks the question, “What can someone like me do to help?” The answer is usually call or talk to your elected officials, educate yourself and others on the issues and go to city council meetings to let leaders know specific issues are important to you. The response from our members is usually “sounds scary” or “I don’t know how to do that.”
Become an advocate
A large gap exists between wanting to help and having the tools to know that you can really make a difference. Very few people speak out at city council meetings or call their elected officials. Yet, in many cases, changing policies is the only way to solve our quality-of-life issues.
After realizing this disconnect between wanting and doing something to create change, the Leaders 2020 Steering Committee recruited Pat Libby, author of the 10-step book “The Lobbying Strategy Handbook.” Libby is one of the nation’s leading experts in nonprofit lobbying. With her guidance, we’ve created a four-part, hands-on training and coaching series to instruct participants how to conceptualize, frame and carry out advocacy campaigns. This includes helping to craft new policy and legislative proposals at the city, county or state level to influence quality of life and improve our region.
If you are serious about making an impact in your community by improving environmental and social issues, you need to learn how to effectively advocate for your cause and use policy to create solutions. Let’s debunk the notion that lobbying is only for corporations and special interest groups by learning how to create impactful change.
Sign up for Lobby4Good
Lobby4Good: Leaders 2020 Lobbying and Advocacy Training with Pat Libby will take place during a series of four three-hour workshops starting October 4. The workshops are focused on environmental advocacy issues and participants will learn about and work on current local environmental policy initiatives led by the Climate Action Campaign and San Diego Food Systems Alliance. Attendees also are encouraged to bring ideas for other issues they would like to work on.
This training is a unique opportunity to participate in a graduate-level course at a discounted rate, learn from one of the most influential people in public advocacy and gain practical skills to apply toward solving problems important to you.
Don’t just talk or complain about your concerns over public issues, learn how to make change and improve the future.