Every day, members of the United Spinal community face unequal access or exclusion due to physical barriers and ineffective policies, practices, or procedures. When frustrations arise in healthcare, mobility, education, work or limitations in quality of life, through grassroots advocacy, your personal experience becomes the seed that can bring about necessary change.
What Is Grassroots Advocacy?
Grassroots advocacy is an awareness initiative generated by concerned individuals that builds a community of support both on the ground and online. People seeking a solution use their own voices to contact organizations or local, state, and/or federal legislators regarding an issue that affects them directly. As a grassroots advocate, each of us has an opportunity to ‘plant seeds’ of concern and cultivate the kind of attention and action that solves problems. By sharing a personal story of need, your own experience and effort are what nurtures a movement to grow, like grass, and affect change across the country.
Anyone Can Be a Grassroots Advocate
Grassroots advocates are members and allies of a directly affected community, like you and me. This means, anyone who is personally affected by an issue has the power to act as a grassroots advocate. Many believe this is strictly the job of direct lobbyists, or those who politically advise on behalf of organizations and maintain professional lobbyist credentials, but it is not. There are also patient advocates, who support individuals on a case-by-case level in a medical setting. Grassroots advocates, instead, voluntarily speak on behalf of themselves and others for local, state or national policy change.
District Mobilization Program
United Spinal is building a grassroots movement across the country through our District Mobilization program. Our goal is to register enough advocates in all 435 Congressional districts to ensure that whenever United Spinal needs to reach out to Congress, every single Representative and Senator knows that we have broad support in the communities they represent.
If you register as an advocate with United Spinal, we aren’t looking for a big time commitment. Here’s what we’re looking for from our registered advocates:
- When United Spinal sends out action alert emails, take a minute to click on the “Take Action” link, make sure your name, address, and email address are entered correctly, and click the “Send Message” button.
- If you feel comfortable, share the link to our action alert with family, friends, or your networks on social media. You are not required to do this, but it helps to amplify our message.
- On occasion, United Spinal might reach out to you if we have a meeting scheduled with your Representative or Senator. It is entirely up to you if you want to participate.
That’s it! Of course, we encourage all of our advocates to get involved as much as they are able.
Finally, as part of our 75th Anniversary Advocacy Challenge, if you register as an advocate, you will be entered for a chance to win a substantial monetary prize, which will be awarded towards the end of the year.
So if you can, please register as a United Spinal advocate today, join the more than 600 advocates all across the country who have already signed up, and help us build an inclusive world together.