Becoming a Grassroots Advocate
At GCDD, we know that Georgians with disabilities want to live full lives in our communities and they are fully capable of doing so. And we know that if we, the citizens of Georgia, choose to make positive changes to our system, more and more people with disabilities will be working in our communities, living with their families or friends or independently as they so choose, and participating in their communities all across Georgia. When all of our citizens, including those with disabilities, are able to use their gifts and talents and pursue their dreams, it creates a better Georgia for us all. To make this a reality, we all have to become advocates to promote public policy that is truly inclusive of citizens with disabilities.
Advocacy 101: Do You Know a Legislator or Did You Speak to One?
GCDD can use that information to connect the disability community to the legislature. Creating relationships with your legislators is key to effective advocacy for issues that are important to you. Through GCDD's Advocacy Network tools, you can record key relationships with legislators you have met and track interactions such as face to face meetings, email correspondence, phone calls, etc. These relationships can be used to identify the best individuals to target to promote policy changes on disability issues such as waivers, post-secondary education or employment and to persuade decision makers how to vote on an issue. They can also be used to convince a legislator to take a stand or compel the media to write a favorable editorial or cover a legislative issue. Click on the green button below to join the GCDD Advocacy Network. Once you have created your account, you can go to My Key Relationships or My Interactions to begin.
We encourage you to get involved by clicking the "Join GCDD's Advocacy Network" button to learn about bills of interest and your elected officials or to sign up for alerts and publications. To be an effective advocate, you have to be well informed. By setting up your login and password and completing your personal profile, you are joining the Advocacy Network and will be able to:
- Track Legislation: Review the bills GCDD is tracking at the State Capitol. The legislation is organized by category and topic to make it easy to find the bills you are looking for.
- Interact with Elected Officials: Based on your home address we link you to your state and federal elected officials. Do you know a legislator? Did you speak with a legislator? Let us know by recording your interactions with elected officials and your key relationships.
- Receive Publications and Alerts: Choose to receive our Advocacy & Policy Alerts, which include Calls to Action, Public Policy for the People legislative eNewsletter and Updates; Community News; UNLOCK Alerts and/or GCDD’s quarterly Making a Difference magazine.
Tools for Grassroots Advocacy:
- 2018 UNLOCK! The Vote Webinar (PDF)
- 2018 Election Accessibility Toolkit (PDF) (DOC)
- Legislative Testimony Training (PDF) (DOC)
- Legislative Testimony Template (PDF)
- Guide to Meeting with Your Legislator (PDF)
- UNLOCK Legislative Priorities Flyer - 2018 GCDD Advocacy Day (PDF)
- Supported Employment Flyer - 2018 GCDD Advocacy Day (PDF)
- DD Waivers - 2018 GCDD Advocacy Day (PDF)
- Telling Your Story to Legislators (Downloadable Document): https://gcdd.org/telling-your-story-downloadable-document.html
- The Disability Guide to Voting: http://www.gcdd.org/the-disability-guide-to-voting.html
- Find your State Legislators here: http://openstates.org/
- Georgia State Constitution (PDF)
- Georgia’s Budget Process: https://opb.georgia.gov/budget-process
- State of Georgia Budget Cycle (PDF)
- Capitol Hill Parking Map (if you visit Georgia’s Gold Dome) (PDF)
- Listing of Public Parking Areas around Georgia State Capitol: https://gba.georgia.gov/general-public-parking
- Speak Up: A Guide To Self Advocacy – Thanks to the ARC of Washington State (PDF) (Text Accessible)
- Legislative Advocacy Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) (Text Accessible)
- How A Bill is Passed in the Georgia Legislature (PDF)
- Advocacy Demystified: Tools & Strategies for Effective Consumer Health Advocacy (PDF)
- NEW! Capitol Accessibility Guide for Visitors with Disabilities (State of Georgia) (PDF)
- Telling Your Story Effectively to State Legislators, Dawn Alford, our public policy director, participated with Rep. Pat Gardner in a webinar hosted by Parent 2 Parent (Video)