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Use the Press to Push Policy Forward

 

 

 

 

 

 

The press influences people.  As You’re the Cure grassroots advocates, we need to influence people.  Put 2 and 2 together, and You’re the Cure advocates can use the press to influence people.  Let’s do it!

Here’s a down and dirty guide to pushing a policy forward through a simple letter-to-the-editor:

  • Gather American Heart Association (AHA) fact sheets on the issue.  (Ask us!)
  • Choose target publication from your area and check their guidelines and word-count limit online.
  • In the first sentence, state the need and why it’s important to the public.
  • In a new paragraph, add two or three sentences about why it’s important to you personally. 
  • In a new paragraph, include a sentence or two with supporting data from our fact sheet(s).
  • Summarize by stating what you want, what readers should do, and/or what legislators should do.
  • Check to be sure you’re within the word-count limit (just the letter itself, not the salutation and signature).
  • If you wish, send to your AHA staff contact so we can provide a little polishing.
  • Once finalized, submit online per their rules, including your full contact information.
  • Connect to tell us you’ve submitted your letter.
  • Watch for publication!  

Note: If you can reference a related recent article from the same publication in your opening it could raise the chances of getting your letter published.

That’s it!  Not complicated, but highly impactful.  Not only can we educate the public about our policy issues this way, but we can reach legislators as well.  They and their staff comb newspapers that serve their districts for relevant content.  You can even name a legislator you want to influence in your letter, so it comes up in their Google searches. 

Would you like to write a letter-to-the-editor on a current You’re the Cure issue in your area?  Ask your local American Heart Association advocacy staff for information to get you started!  

 

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Chat Up Your Lawmakers Like a Champ

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to know how to make chatting up your lawmakers really count?  A few simple steps make all the difference in the world, whether it’s in a phone conversation or a face-to-face visit. 

  • Share where you live, so they know they are working for you, their constituent.
  • State the issue or need concisely in just 1 or 2 sentences.
  • Personalize it:  share a 3-4 sentence description about how it affects you, someone you love or work with, and others in the district/state. Don’t be afraid to get sappy!  Sappy helps make it real.
  • Include 1-3 facts to illustrate the need.  Use American Heart Association talking points or information from the American Heart Association website, www.heart.org, so you’re sure the information you are sharing is accurate and science-based.
  • Ask straight-out if they will support the issue.  Then ask why or why not.
  • Offer follow-up for any questions we can help answer.
  • Connect with us right away to let us know about your conversation.

Practice the format above a few times before your call or visit, and it will help you feel comfortable and prepared. 

And remember, our lawmakers are regular people just like you and me, who happen to be elected officials sworn to serve their district. Telling them what their constituents want is simply helping them do their jobs. 

 

(Pictured: NC You're the Cure Advocate Frank Amend talks with Rep Walter Jones about a pending policy issue.)

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We did it...Pulse ox is law!

Thanks to your help, Gov. Cuomo signed the Pulse Ox bill into law! Soon all babies in NYS will be screened for critical congenital heart defects. This victory wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our passionate volunteers and dedicated staff.  Thank you to everyone, including our red cape heroes, for contributing to our success and helping babies have a healthy start!   Jack, 5. Aedan, 22 months old. Jacob, 15 months old. Colton, 2 and their families did something amazing: they have helped pass this law. All were born with a congenital heart defect.  They and their parents have met with their legislators, hosted a press conference, and been interviewed in the media about their efforts to get the Pulse Ox bill passed and signed into law.   Congratulations!

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