Consistent Effort Matters

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By: Nikki Jensen, Vice President, Essentially Women

I’ve known for a while that I wanted to write an article about the importance of advocacy. My intent was to write a nice article on why it’s important to get involved, share the message and how critical it is to get involved. But the reality is—you already know that! What you need is something easy and simple, a turn-key program that has all the resources in one place—because we’re all in the same boat: we get pulled in a dozen directions every day, and it's hard to keep our attention focused. Most of us spend our days like the little silver ball in the pinball machine getting knocked from  side-to-side before we ultimately come to the end of the day.   

For me, advocacy falls into the same priority category as meal-planning: it's important to my overall well-being. I know I need to do it. I know I will be healthier and happier if I do it. I know my efforts will also impact for those around me, but darn it, it's so hard to find the time and fit it in! 

Imagine if we all approached advocacy the way I wish I could approach meal-planning. WE WOULD BE A FORCE! I've laid out some steps you can take to make advocacy easier. Everyone is at a different point, but remember, if you've done it once, one and done is probably not enough to make a  change. I make meal plans once a week, not once a year!

What does consistent effort look like? Our ultimate goal is to have the legislation passed. To do this, your representative and senators must sign-on to support the legislation. For them to sign on, they first must understand the legislation. It may take your representatives eight times to hear about the issue before they understand it and act on it.

What are you doing personally and in your business to help achieve an 8 touchpoint minimum? One of the most basic things you can do is to hand out counter cards to each of your clients at checkout and explain to them the issue and that they should contact their representatives to urge them to sign-on. You can even have a computer or tablet available so they can go to letherdecide.org to send the letter before they leave your store. As a bonus, we’ve included counter cards in this issue that you can print, cut out and use to help promote.

Do you have a relationship with your representative and senators and have you become a recognizable name and face for them? Remember, they are public servants and are in office to serve their constituents. Your representatives will respond more positively to your needs if you are polite and persistent. 

Getting started:

  • Send your own message to your elected officials by going to letherdecide.org and click “Take Action Now!”
  • Copy the counter cards included in this issue. Hint: use these as your originals and copy them front and back.
  • Give a card to every customer or place them in their bag.

When you’re ready for the next step:

  • Call their Washington, D.C. office to discuss the legislation with either the elected official or their health legislative assistant. 
  • Connect with the local offices. Build relationships with the staff members of your elected officials’ local offices as an advocate, small business owner, survivor, family member or any combination. Ask for time to visit about the issue. Invite your local officials to visit your location and meet with patients to hear stories directly.

If you’ve done all of the steps, great! But remember, consistency is key to success.

Advocacy Assistance
If you want more information on how to get involved, how to connect with your elected officials, or just don’t know where to start, contact Essentially Women at [email protected] or 800-988-4484.

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