Wednesday, November 6, 2013

MASC 13: Advocacy Strategies for School Leaders

Paul Schlictman, MASC Past President
advocacy committee through MASC
multi-layered approach: voters, locally, state, nationally

make it clear to the voters at all time what you're working on and what you're thinking about
for buildings, make new needs clear well before consideration of new appropriation
"particularly the local curmudgeon" at the town meeting
"make sure you have good worker relationships with your legislators"
"it always pays to have members of the committee who make friends with both sides of the street"
be sure your message is consistent, and you know what it is and that it's going out often
MASC Delegate Assembly: influence statewide decisions
School Committee needs to set attainable and recognizable goals that the community knows
"the Toddler's Law of Mine does not apply to Medicaid Chapter 70 aid...
You can win a fight on the floor of Town Meeting...once.
Know your limits.
People in every legislative district to advocate at the state level
Say your message and say it again. Get it out every single way that you can.
Your influence counts, so get out there!
Need to hold legislators accountability: think of them as "needing improvement...and such"
"if they're in that warning category: run against them! You've got a base."
 Meeting with state legislators and federal congress: how to get things accomplished
"how do you introduce yourself to your legislators?"
Be sure they know who you are and why you're there; don't assume.
expect to have no more than 15 minutes; expect to have to repeat this, and a lot.
Get the message across over and over to have it stick. Be prepared.
Know who will do which part (if you're meeting as a group). Know your legislator's position.
Be sure you're animated, tell stories, give data. Stories stick and can be used again.
If you're representing yourself as a School Committee member, be sure you've discussed with your colleagues.
"In many cases, you may represent more people than they do."
press them for a commitment...get a 'yes' or a 'no'...and then you can report back and hold their feet to the fire
Don't guess if you don't know; tell them you'll get the information.
MASC is a resource, may have data, or resources on positions, know players and how they interact
Should try to meet with federal congresspeople on their breaks; get them aware on how federal legislation impacts what is going on in your district
what they're doing in Washington that's being helpful versus what's not being helpful
smaller communiites can band together
"These people have to run for office as well; any time they can be in front of their constituents, they will be."
Know who votes.
School Committee appointed a legislative advocate. Know who has the relationship with members of the senators and representatives.

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