Do you know about your special power?
Advocacy is the use of your power to influence someone who can give you what you want. As an American Heart Association You’re the Cure advocate you use the special power of your voice to influence lawmakers, and move mountains for thousands upon thousands by helping pass policies that save lives.
Check out this quick rundown of the ways your special power can work….
Share your story – Your personal experience inspires others and helps an issue become real to the people you need to influence. You can share with us here (we won’t publish it without contacting you for permission).
Put it in writing to your legislators – Our online alerts provide a written description of the issue you can simply click to send (or customize first). Or you can give your voice even more punch by writing your own personal letter and sending via snail mail or email.
Make a call – the same information provided in our alerts serves perfectly as talking points to make a quick call, and often gets a lawmaker’s attention more keenly than a letter.
Visit your legislator – Whether visiting in their home court (their District office) or on Capitol Hill, an advocate who takes the time to sit down and meet carries clout. This how-to guide gives you easy steps to make it count. Just be sure you make an appointment before going, and be willing to meet with a staffer if the legislator is not available.
Harness your network – Talk about us! Share our alerts on social media after you’ve taken action on the website, forward our emails to your peeps and urge their help too. Ask your friends, family and colleagues to sign up and add the special power of their voices to helping make change happen.
Write a letter-to-the-editor to educate the public about the policy issue. See how here!
Please tell your local Advocacy contact when you do these activities! Our database tracks when you’ve taken action on an online alert to support the issue, or shared an alert, but these other activities must be self-reported or we’ll have no way of knowing. Often we can provide talking points or tips to make them easier.
There is more you can do, too, if you really want to ramp up your power, like writing blog posts for us, working with us to provide testimony or serve as a spokesperson on a policy issue you’re closely connected to, or helping represent us at events to recruit new advocates. We can provide training to make sure you are prepared to do a good job.
However you choose to help, know that your special power is the real power we need to pass policies that save lives. You’ve read this far, now resolve to be proactive in making your voice count:
Help us move mountains! Ask your local American Heart Association advocacy staff for information to get you started. Tell us how you want to help!
(Our website can help you learn about AHA/ASA’s key advocacy issues and provide access fact sheets and advocate toolkits.)
<photo: Hunter Paulin, You’re the Cure advocate, shouting out to spread the word!>