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Local Observer Corps


Advocacy and Program for Action

Advocacy takes many forms, each with a different goal for initiating change. Advocacy and Taking Action are performed in pursuit of ensuring people have a voice in important social issues and change. However, education is by far the most powerful form of advocacy and method for changing the world


In the League, we tend to focus our efforts on influencing legislative measures in the US Congress and state and local legislative bodies by preparing testimony, lobbying legislators, and initiating advocacy campaigns on issues of interest to our members. We also file lawsuits, file “friend of the court” (amicus) briefs in court cases and monitor and comment when regulations are being written for executive branch agencies.

League Lobbying

League lobbying is based on member study and agreement on selected issues and involves concerted efforts to achieve public policies consistent with League positions. League Boards at every level set their own priorities. League lobbying promotes or opposes specific pieces of legislation.

Advocacy vs. Lobbying

Advocacy is a broader concept than lobbying. Advocacy activities are often considered “educational.” This is the case even when only one side of an issue is presented if no action on a piece of legislation is requested. Such activities can include: (1) developing public policy briefs that analyze issues and provide detailed information and recommendations for addressing them through specific reforms and (2) providing forums for discussing issues and educating policymakers and the public. Speaking in support of the organization is also advocating (i.e., for the overall cause of the organization). Lobbying is defined as an attempt to influence specific legislation, both legislation that has been introduced and specific legislation that has been proposed. Lobbying includes actions that transmit a point of view on a specific piece of legislation to elected officials or their staff, as well as actions urging the public to contact their legislators about a specific piece of legislation. It also includes communications to the general public expressing a view on specific referenda or other ballot measures.

Applying a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Lens to Our Work

Applying a DEI lens is a way of examining a program, process, product, or otherwise with an eye toward how it will be perceived by a variety of communities, voices, and perspectives, and what barriers may exist that prevent it from being equitable or inclusive to everyone. We recommend Leagues apply a DEI lens to any position that they utilize. When examining your work through a DEI lens you should ask these key questions:

1. Who is involved in the process? Leagues should consider whether this work impacts a group or community, if the voice of the impacted community is represented, and how diverse the group of decision-makers who represent a variety of relevant viewpoints is.

2. Who will be impacted? Leagues should consider who benefits or could be harmed, whether it helps meet the needs of underserved voters, how we considered various, specific marginalized groups, and how they’ll be impacted.

3. What are the likely intended and unintended outcomes? Leagues should consider the issue we are trying to address, what we hope will happen, the potential negative impacts, who could be hurt by this, the supporting data or evidence, and how it might be perceived by others.

4. Does this align with our vision for an equitable and inclusive organization? Leagues should consider how equity is addressed, what barriers it might place in the way of achieving equity, and how it impacts the organization’s culture. 5. What changes could we make to improve equity? Leagues should consider the short- and long-term goals, policies, or bylaws that need to be added or amended, the benefits to members, and the benefits for partners and/or members of the community.



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