Advocacy - Getting You Involved!
Can YOU really make a difference? Yes, you can!
- As a board member, you are in an excellent position to educate and influence the legislative process
- You deal with a variety of issues at the local level
- You are seen as a key resource on education policy for your district
- Stay up to speed on the Legislature year-round
- Have a “legislative update” agenda item at each board meeting
- Pass board policy specific to how you deal with legislative issues
- Utilize NASB’s Legislative links, communication, Legislative Notes, and the LR&SP booklet
- Share key legislative information with your board, and your community
- Ask Yourself: What are you doing for your district?
- The Legislature needs to know school board members want to be involved!
Know and understand the legislative calendar
- 60-Day Short Session (even years): January to mid April
- 90-Day Long Session (odd years): January to early June
- Committee Hearings take place the first 30 Days … this is your opportunity to be heard!
- NASB Legislation Committee Meeting /Legislative Issues Conference: late January
- Call for Resolutions and Standing Positions: April to July 1
- NASB Legislation Committee Meeting: July
- Summer/Fall Lead-Up: NASB is working with Sen’s and organizations on potential bills
- NASB Legislation Committee Meeting/Delegate Assembly: November
Build relationships with your Senator and their staff
- Don't take for granted the access we have as Nebraskans to our Senators & Federal Reps. It is not like that everywhere. Take advantage of it!
- Be involved. Build the relationship. You CAN make a difference.
- Be engaged. You're on your board, you know the importance.
- Attend meetings and events they will be at.
- Throughout the year, Senators are invited to and attend many NASB events like Area Membership Meetings; Legislative Issues Conference; State Education Conference, etc.
- Utilize and bookmark http://nebraskalegislature.gov/senators/
Questions to Know or Ask of your Senator
- Do they have a background in education? (Teacher, Administrator, Board Member, family in education, etc)
- Do they have children in your district?
- Preferred method of contact?
- Are they active on social media?
- Goals and vision for education in Nebraska?
- What is their voting history?
Tips for EFFECTIVE communication - “… From Senators themselves.”
- EYEBALL to EYEBALL! Emails are not read. Letters are not read.
- Best months to build the relationship are October and November - out of session.
- Most bills are reactive. Force your Senator to be proactive - be ahead of the game.
- It is critical to have your facts straight when you approach a legislator.
- Be respectful, keep your cool. Imagine it happening to you at a school board meeting.
- Develop the relationship early. (Get to know prospective candidates!)
- Set priorities!
- Provide them with key data and information from your district - Annual Report, financials, etc.
- Share any positive growth or good news from past legislation.
- Communicate any issues your district is facing they have the ability to address.