Advocacy 101: 4 Ways Community Based Organizations Can Get Involved in Advocacy and Engage with Policymakers

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For many community based organizations, involvement in public policy advocacy can be a daunting endeavor, meant only for policy wonks and experts who know all the physical and political in’s and out’s of state and local legislatures – not true! Especially for social issue-focused organizations, which tend to be part of larger systems that may require more resources, support, and changes to those systems in order to work toward solving or improving a particular problem and/or serve a particular population. This calls for active civic engagement and advocacy to tell representatives why they should care about and support your cause(s)! But where to start? Here are 4 ways your organization can get involved in policy advocacy or improve your current advocacy strategy:

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Skills to Succeed: A New Campaign to Increase Massachusetts’ Workforce Outcomes and Resources

As an article in today’s Boston Globe highlights, warnings of the instability of the Massachusetts economy are growing.  Reporter Deirdre Fernandes writes that the region’s top economists are stressing that despite numbers showing economic recovery and steady growth, when you check under the hood, you’ll see a more troubling picture. Yes, the official unemployment has dropped even lower than pre-recession levels to 4.4%, which is also below the current national average of 5%. And it’s true that the state economy has been experiencing steady growth, reaching an annual rate of 2.3%, well above the national average of 0.5%. But these data points divert attention from a myriad of challenges and systemic imbalances combining to create a ‘perfect storm’ positioned to wreak havoc on our economy.

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How to Impact State Budget Decisions

by Lew Finfer, Director of MCAN and Workforce Solutions Group (WSG) E Team member  

As you might already know, we’re in the midst of the FY17 State Budget process. Curious about the timeline and mechanics of this process and how you can get involved? Click ‘Read More’ to find out what you should know!

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FY17 State Funding Highlights

At the Alliance for Vocational Technical Education event last month, Governor Baker and the Workforce Skills Cabinet announced proposals for $83.5 Million for Career Vocational Technical Education, proposed as part of his FY17 budget proposal and impending Economic Development legislation.

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Middle-Skills Act is reported out favorably!

The Middle-Skills Solutions Act (SB921/HB2713) was reported out favorably by the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development earlier today.

This good news caps months of hard work and advocacy by many partners in the Skills2Compete MA coalition and leadership by our bill’s sponsors and co-sponsors.

In particular, we wish to thank Sen. Ken Donnelly and Rep. Cheryl Coakley-Rivera for leading the charge in their respective legislative bodies.

The bill was reported out largely as written, though there were some technical edits made.  Read the bill as reported out.

If passed, the bill will create middle-skill training opportunities for hundreds of Massachusetts residents in the short-term and will make getting middle-skill credentials that employers are looking for more efficient in the long-run.

Now we need everyone’s help to pass the Middle-Skills Solutions Act!   Subscribe to our blog or follow us on twitter to keep up with the latest news.   And if you’re able, join us at the Crittenton Women’s Union on Monday, March 26 for a coalition meeting to strategize on next steps.  RSVP by Friday, March 23.

Thanks again for your support!