Advocacy (ad'-ve-ke-see) n. The act of arguing in favor of something, such as a cause, idea, or policy.
Advocacy is the act of arguing in favor of something -- an idea, cause, or policy. All of us advocate regularly by simply expressing a point of view to our friends, families, and employers. It could be making our views known on behalf of our children with their teachers, coaches, and group leaders out of school, or as teachers on behalf of students in our classes or on behalf of new or changing programs. Legislative advocacy is a specialized form of advocacy; one directed at policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels.
All successful advocacy depends, in part, on relationships built over time that engender trust. Sometimes built-in credibility speeds the process, but generally it takes time to develop a trusting relationship between advocates and decision makers. This is certainly true for legislative advocacy: a legislator's familiarity with you and your expertise on an issue creates the comfort level necessary to develop strong working relationships. This same confidence is generally necessary whether you are working with your local school board, your state department of education, your state legislators, or your Congressional delegation. NAGC has developed a toolkit to help supporters become stronger advocates.
As part of NAGC's advocacy goal, we work with Members of Congress to increase support for gifted and talented learners. To be effective with Congress, NAGC depends on gifted education supporters across the country who will contact their elected representatives on behalf of gifted students. The legislative update section provides information about the issues that we're working on and ways in which you may support our efforts.
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