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As leaders within their communities, MASA members are positioned to engage in the policy making process not only as constituents, but as advocates, experts and organizers. This potential is leveraged through a three part process that includes grassroots organization and advocacy, legislative advocacy, and media relations. Like the lawmakers they seek to engage and influence, MASA members are able to use these three powerful mechanisms to rally community members, educate and persuade lawmakers, and communicate to the public and shape debate through the media.
The next three sections of this toolkit provide members with a “How To” guide for each of these three areas and examples based on other member experiences. In addition, each section is full of hints, tips, tools, and guidelines on everything from creating and engaging a grassroots network, to testifying before a legislative committee, to effectively getting a reporter to carry your message to the public.
In the following three sections, you will find information on . . .
Build a grassroots coalition in your own community and leverage the power of your members to drive and shape political debate on a national, state, and local level.
Engage lawmakers directly as a constituent, community leader, and subject matter expert. Learn the protocol for writing, calling, and meeting with your local officials, both in Lansing and back home in your district. Understand the process for testifying before a legislative committee.
Harness the power of the press to get out your message and drive the issues that lawmakers and people in your community are talking about.