We need to tell our own story
One key strategy we learned from our lobbyist, Joe Loftus of Barnes & Thornburg, is that we need to have stakeholders in our communities advocate for our adult education programs to our legislators. True, we need to tell our own story, but it’s very powerful when others can tell our legislators how much our adult education programs mean to them. Also, the time to educate our legislators is BEFORE the Legislature convenes in January, not DURING!
Specifically, Joe has challenged us to see if we can get each adult education program to get five employers to write to their legislators to (1) describe how they are involved with their local adult education programs and (2) say that no other community organization they have found can deliver the particular services (e.g., education, training, certification) like their local adult education programs.
To that end, it’s time now for us to ask the adult education programs in our regions to solicit those letters from local employers. Other community organizations would also help, but in our current climate, we need to give priority to employers.
So here’s what I think we need to start doing this week as a membership:
(1) ask your community partners (especially employers) to send letters to legislators to describe the value to you bring to their organization, AND/OR
(2) invite legislators to view your partnership in action. Perhaps they can visit a class you have for incumbent employees.
Please let a member of the IAACE Advocacy Workgroup know if any of these legislative contacts have been made:
Region 1: Cynthia Warner-Lowe
Regions 2 and 3: Caroline Foster
Region 4 and 6: Polly Redmond
Region 5 and 12: Sara Gutting and Natalie Reuter
Regions 7 and 8 and 9: Rob Moore
Regions 10, 11: Lauren Bell
That way, we can send the information on to our lobbyist, who uses it to carry out his work on our behalf.
Advocacy Committee Chair
Director of Adult Education
Monroe County Community School Corporation
Broadview Learning Center
705 W. Coolidge Dr.
Bloomington, IN 47403