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What is Advocacy?
Advocacy can be broken down into basic parts: the Advocate, the Issue, the Act and the Decision-maker.
Anyone who speaks for another is an advocate. PTA members are advocates for children and youth.
PTA members advocate on a wide variety of child-related issues: education, health, nutrition, safety, juvenile protection, welfare reform, parent and family life, and drug abuse prevention, to name a few.
Advocacy is simply communicating about an issue for which PTA has adopted a position by speaking, writing, phoning, faxing or emailing. The purpose of the communication can be to inform, educate, persuade or increase the level of awareness about the issue.
The decision-maker is any individual or body that has the power to address the issue or solve the problem. Decision-makers include elected and appointed officials, legislative bodies, school boards, county commissioners, and judges. Every PTA member can be an effective advocate. The process is always the same: identify, research and understand the issue; identify, research and understand the decision-maker; and develop and communicate the message. The process is not always easy, and dedication and perseverance are usually required. Sometimes success is achieved quickly, sometimes slowly.
Why We Advocate
Part of the National PTA’s threefold mission is to speak on behalf of all children and youth before governmental bodies and other organizations. For over 100 years, PTA volunteers have used their time, energy, experience and knowledge to bring about changes in laws, policies and programs for the benefit of children.
In order to maintain a nonprofit status under federal rules, Pinellas County Council PTA/ PTSA is nonpartisan and works to direct its efforts at members of both political parties in order to enact change. When PTA officers participate in legislative activities that educate lawmakers about officially adopted PTA positions, or support a particular piece of legislation that is in agreement with the PTA Legislative Program, it is done on a strictly nonpartisan basis.
Advocate With PTA!
National PTA Federal Public Policy Agenda
National PTA Advocacy Toolkit
National PTA Resolutions & Position Statements
Florida PTA Position Statements