Grassroots Organizing

NATA has a new, basic training handbook for use when organizing your grassroots network. Members respond better when they feel they’ve been trained and know both the methods of contacting legislators and the message. The handbook, titled “Capitol Ideas!,” was written to be used in conjunction with a working session of members. For more information, contact Judy Pulice; review the handbook(PDF format).

Enhancing Visibility in the Capitol

Wisconsin has been added to the states that maintain a regular presence in the state capitol. Joe Greene reports that the Wisconsin Athletic Trainers' Association is branching out in its legislative efforts. WATA has decided to support non-AT specific legislation when to do so would benefit the profession and healthcare delivery in general. This type of lobbying enhances the political stature of an organization in the state capital and raises the visibility of the profession among other healthcare interest groups. Sez Joe: “We just feel that this step is the next generation of our governmental affairs efforts. We want other organizations and legislators to know that we are around not just when a crisis occurs, and that we are active other than just in bills that name our profession or our competitors.”

This type of lobbying requires the commitment of an organization to both monitor the legislative sessions and to provide input on bills of interest -- perhaps even to testify or participate in grassroots campaigns. This commitment, however, will pay off handsomely down the road when legislation vital to the athletic trainers is being heard. According to Judy, 'Friends made as a result of lobbying non-AT bills are more likely to help you when you need it.'

If your state has experienced this type of success, let us know so we can run some 'case histories' in this space.

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