Develop an Action Plan
Step 2: Form a State Committee and Assign Roles
Once the state association leadership has determined that there is potential for change, it is important for the leaders and other interested members to gather together and decide what they wish to accomplish. The state association, lobbyist, constituent members, and consumers all have essential and integral roles to play in any state advocacy effort. All parties need to work together to accomplish the goal.
Group Leader: A leader needs to be identified who will serve not only as the spokesperson for the group but will also be responsible for keeping the membership informed and actively involved. In the targeted states, ASHA and the state association leadership identified a member of the group to serve as the coordinator. This individual typically communicated with the ASHA liaison on a regular basis, kept the executive board and membership informed of the groups activities and progress, and was also responsible for activating the grassroots network.
Grassroots Coordinator: The grassroots coordinator is responsible for developing and maintaining an active list of members from across the state that are willing and able to contact legislators or other decision maker groups on a moment's notice. If the state association does not have an up-to-date e-mail list of the membership, than one will need to be developed including each member's address and legislative district. This allows the group leader and grassroots coordinator to activate the grassroots network quickly and efficiently.
Legislative liaison/lobbyist: The legislative liaison may be the state association's lobbyist or committee member whose job it is to keep the members informed of legislative or regulatory activity, develop legislative language for proposed bills, and most importantly to track and inform the committee when membership involvement is needed. It is also important for the state's lobbyist to convey to the membership how the legislative process works in the state.
Consumer Coordinator: The consumer coordinator identifies and gathers a list of consumers willing to assist state association efforts.