Lobbying Isn't Just for the Super-Wealthy

Legislation | 12/13/2018

Dana Fleming
Stand Leader in Lane County

Lobbying isn’t just for the super-wealthy and the well-connected.

Lawmakers work for the public, which means they have a responsibility to listen to everyday people like you and me.

That doesn’t always happen, and there are logistics barriers to overcome. Not everyone can afford to take a day off from work to walk the hallways in Salem, or find transportation from across the state, or arrange for childcare to get away. On top of that, speaking to an elected official can be intimidating the first time around.

We’re lucky in Oregon though, because Stand for Children runs a Lobby Day every legislative session on one of the most pressing issues in our state: raising graduation rates.

For anyone who isn’t aware, Oregon has the third-worst graduation rates in the country. And we’ve been stuck in this rut for years on end. Students who do graduate often find that they need remedial courses before they can earn college credits, or that the skills they learned in high school don’t match the jobs that are available in their community.

I had the privilege to attend my first Lobby Day with Stand two years ago, and I still remember the incredible feeling of empowerment that came from being part of something bigger that myself. There was strength in our numbers, and I felt value in knowing we were having an impact on an issue that has plagued our state for far too long.

We didn’t have to worry about anything except showing up and being heard. Stand handled transportation, provided childcare, and even offered training to make sure we were all comfortable meeting our representatives. Then we walked to the legislators’ offices as a group, and became active partners in our democracy together.

As a parent, I had my daughters and their friends at the top of my mind during lobby day. I am committed to Stand’s advocacy for students because if we don’t fight for their needs, who will?

I’m writing this to tell you that your voice is every bit as impactful as mine, and together we are more powerful than we can ever be alone. There has never been a better time to get involved, because we’re closer than ever to securing full Measure 98 funding to raise Oregon’s graduation rates. And it’s never been easier to get behind this urgent cause, thanks to Stand for Children’s support.

It’s not too late to get involved with Stand for Children’s Lobby Day this year. Click here to RSVP today!

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