The Time to Advocate for Public Health is Now

APHA’s Government Relations staff recently hosted a webinar discussing APHA’s current advocacy priorities and how APHA members can get more involved with advocacy efforts to help advance and protect public health.  

In this challenging political climate, the need to advocate for public health could not be more urgent. Regardless of which public health issue you want to advocate for, the time to be an advocate is now. As public health experts, it is our duty to help inform not only our elected officials but also the general public about the vast number of public health challenges facing our world today.

Below are a handful of ways you can get involved:

  • Meet with your elected officials in Washington, DC or in your state. For tips and materials you can bring with you, click here.
  • Sign up to receive legislative updates and advocacy alerts on the APHA website.
  • Send a quick action alert message to your legislators through APHA’s Take Action! website.
  • Call your congressperson via the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.  
  • Attend a town hall or constituent meeting near you. Here are some tips on how to ask questions in a public forum.
  • Submit an opinion piece or a letter to the editor to your local paper. For a template letter or technical assistance, email mediarelations@apha.org.
  • Share articles and your opinions via social media and other communication channels to help educate your friends, family, and the general public. We encourage you to tag the IH section in your Facebook and Twitter posts on global health advocacy so we can share them with our followers.
  • Volunteer for the IH Section’s Advocacy/Policy Committee to assist with drafting Section policy proposals and contribute to goals and strategies to engage Section members in global health advocacy work. Email Kevin Sykes for more information.
  • And last but not least, consider lending your voice as a contributor to the APHA IH blog. Email ihsection.communications@gmail.com for more information.

The APHA website contains extensive resources to help you in your advocacy efforts. For more information, click here.

During the webinar, we were reminded that even though a legislator’s job is to do what’s best for this nation and its people, elected officials also depend on you to get re-elected. A Representative gets elected every two years and a Senator every six. As you can see in the graph below, your influence can make a difference.

abouteffectiveness_0

Source: Communicating with Congress, Perceptions of Citizen Advocacy on Capitol Hill 

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Learn more about this year’s Public Health Action (PHACT) campaign priority issues:

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