State Level Advocacy
The Office of Government Relations helps educate, equip, and engage Episcopalians to carry out advocacy to the U.S. government at the federal level. But we often receive questions about state issues – whether we are asked to speak out against discriminatory laws that harm the LGBTQIA+ community, fight against dangerous and damaging laws banning books or teaching revisionist history, or help Episcopalians push for important reforms in their states. Below, we will share some resources for state-level advocacy.
Why advocate at the state level?
State and local advocacy allows individuals and groups to influence policies and decisions that directly impact their communities, addressing specific regional needs and issues, and promoting change at a more manageable scale. Many of the issues we work on – such as criminal justice reform – have both a federal and state component. Without state-level advocacy, we miss opportunities to push for more compassionate and just laws. By meeting with state and local elected officials, you are participating in the political process and enabling governments to be more informed and responsive.
What can you do?
Attend town halls: The tips we lay out for federal advocacy apply at the state level as well. Please see this post, where we encourage you to engage your members of Congress during August recess by participating in town halls, coffee shop open hours, and even meetings in the district office. The same is true at the state level.
Request meetings: Join together with members of your parish or community, and request a meeting with your state officials about an issue important to you. You can read our Faith and Citizenship guide to learn more.
Write letters and send emails: You should be able to easily find your state legislators and their contact information on your state government website. You can write letters or emails to register your concerns and priorities. See our Postcard Project for more information!
Connect with grassroots advocacy organizations: Not all advocacy organizations work in all 50 states, but many do. On gun violence prevention, for instance, you can connect with Everytown, which includes Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action. Groups like Children’s Defense Fund are active in several states, and United Way has local chapters. You can become the expert on advocacy organizations in your community and state!
Reach out for support! Reach out to the Office of Government Relations (email@example.com) for training on advocacy strategy, civil discourse, voter engagement, and more. Use our Policy for Action to see what the Church has said on a wide variety of issues.
Thank you for all you do to help us be a more compassionate society that brings the light of Christ into the world.
The Office of Government Relations