Dear Families and Friends of Individuals with Disabilities,
Advocacy is the key to effecting change and creating a better social, political, and economic environment for all. It is through the deliberate process of advocacy that New Hope staff, families, and Board of Directors can speak out on issues important to the people we serve and the dedicated men and women who provide the daily supports. You can speak out on these issues by communicating with the elected officials representing us at all levels of government.
New Hope has a passion to change how supports and services are delivered to people with disabilities and their families. Beginning with a dream in 1975 to create an agency to assist people to move from large institutional setting to a "homey" environment living with a smaller number of people closer to their home communities and families, New Hope began to forever change the way services are provided. New Hope has been dedicated to assisting people to have a life of dignity and opportunities through the services and supports offered and through strong advocacy.
Studies have shown that voter opinion is the most deciding factor when members of the State Legislature or Congress face a vote. This means that YOU, as a voter, can help your Representatives and Senators at both the State and Federal levels make informed policy decisions. However, you must first take the initiative to communicate with your elected officials. As a constituent, voter, community member, employer, direct support worker, supervisor, family, and most importantly, as someone who wants to enrich the lives of individuals with disabilities, you CAN influence public policy.
To help you with your role as an advocate we have created a Guide to Grassroots Advocacy. The purpose of this guide is to provide the tools and information you need to effectively communicate with and influence our elected officials.
Thank you for your willingness to help bring our message to the Iowa Legislature and to Washington D.C.
Steven Kopecky, Chief Executive Director
Please visit www.Ancor.org and click the file folder tab called ACTION CENTER. This link will keep you abreast of current advocacy issues. You can search by state or by zip code.
It is always a good time to introduce yourself to the newly elected officials or reconnect with re-elected officials. On the Ancor Action Center link mentioned above, scroll down and click the TAKE ACTION link. It will take you to a sample letter as a starting point to write to your State Representative and Senator.
Below are some links that you may find helpful with your advocacy efforts.
- Infonet : Find Iowa Legislators, use the Advocacy Tool Kit, find information, tools and resources regarding Iowa issues pertaining to disabilities.
- Iowa Legislature : Iowa Legislature home page. Information about members, committees, bills, and other information.
- Find Your Iowa Legislator : Find Your Iowa Legislator by City or Zip Code.
- Ancor : Learn about national issues of interest pertaining to disabilities.
- Ancor's Advocacy Tool Kit : US Congress step-by-step guide to the legislative process. Information on Leadership in the US Congress. Easy to follow instructions for finding your federal elected officials.