Creating Your Own Advocacy Program

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Thank you for visiting our website! As the Mitty Advocacy Project (MAP) visits Washington D.C. this weekend, we look forward to collaborating with you to create advocacy groups at your own institutions, and eventually, your own advocacy event. Our website is designed to facilitate this process for you, so please explore the links here, and feel free to post a comment if you have any questions!

Why advocacy?

Injustice is not and should not be something we just see, but rather something we act upon.

      “Advocacy on behalf of justice is both the natural outgrowth of effective campus ministry programs and the ultimate form of putting faith into action.  When one engages in service–week after week, year after year–at some point one comes to ask the obvious question, “Why?”  Such questioning leads the sincere questioner to a deeper understanding of unjust structures and their causes.  This understanding leads the true believer into action/advocacy.  Of course, we as Catholics also believe that Jesus provides us with the greatest model for action an behalf of justice, and He also impresses upon us the essential value of community, reflection, and celebration as necessary sustenance for those in the trenches.”

                                                                       – Archbishop Mitty Principal Tim Brosnan

Mitty Students meeting with California Assemblyman Rich Gordan

How does MAP advocate?

Every year, we start by choosing 4 state and 4 federal bills of importance to us that we focus on throughout the year. We become familiar with them, and then begin the planning process. In California and in each of your states, each Diocese has a legislative advocacy director or outreach coordinator working for the Bishop’s office. We contact this office to get the word out to other offices, but more importantly, down to the schools. We also contact Campus Ministers at Catholic high schools across the state to create interest.

MAP delegates meeting with CA Assemblyman Paul Fong

What you can do:

  1. Contact your Campus Ministry or Student Activities Departments to determine how to begin a club or service organization at your institution.
  2. Contact your state’s Catholic Conference.
    1. Communicate with the Legislative Outreach Coordinator or the equivalent in your state.
    2. Determine 3-4 issues you are passionate about. Have you seen something in your community that you would like to change?
    3. Research bills in your state assembly and senate. On the right under Legislative Action, you will see links that MAP uses to research California legislation. A simple Google search will help you find similar sites for your state. For example, this is the site for New York:  found by just typing “New York Legislation,” in the “Google Search Box.
    4. When choosing bills, please keep the following in mind: The bill must be on the floor at the time you wish to lobby. We recommend not choosing bills that will pass through very easily, as your lobbying   does not really make an impact there. We also do not recommend choosing bills that have a very low chance of passing (ie. a Democratic bill in a house full of Republicans). Choose wisely, but take the challenge!
    5. Create talking points. See the link under “Advocacy Resources.”
    6. Go through Lobby Simulations. See the link “Conducting Legislative Meetings” under “Advocacy Resources.”
    7. Contact your legislator’s office to set up a meeting once you are prepared! Build relationships with these offices, and make a difference!

Remember, Catholic advocates are different from other lobby groups. What gives us strength is the impressive network that we have created all over the United States, and even the world. We are not driven out of self-interest, but the desire to serve our communities. Even as youth, MAP has made a visible impact, and we hope that you will share in our mission as well.

          “The fullness of a Catholic, college preparatory, education can only be realized if students are challenged theoretically and in practice. The Archbishop Mitty Advocacy Program provides the practical application of social justice teachings to the student’s contemporary political context. The program allows students to apply their learning and empowers them to challenge political and social structures with an eye toward developing a more just society.”

– Associate Principal, Dick Robinson, Archbishop Mitty H.S.

Blog article written by MAP President Sruthi Ramaswami.

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