Site Visit Campaign 2012: Making Connections Between Policy and People
The Chicago Alliance's Advocacy Committee is launching our first-ever Site Visit Campaign! With Plan 2.0 being introduced and more budget battles looming, it is a great time to educate policymakers about the impressive work being done in our community. From October through December, we will be working with agencies to reach out to their federal, state, or local representatives to conduct a site visit. Site visits help you connect and build relationships with your elected officials and show them firsthand the impact of funding decisions.
We are here to help you organize your site visit from start to finish! We have created a flyer and a Guide to Getting Started to help you plan your visit. We hosted a brief webinar on Monday, October 15 to provide helpful hints on conducting a site visit. Download the slides from our introductory webinar. Chicago Alliance staff are available to help you every step of the way. Contact Amanda Borta at (312) 379-0301, ext. 22 to register for the webinar or to get started on your site visit. Help us make the connection between policy and people!
Chicago Homeless Youth Testify Before Congress
On Thursday, December 15, 2011, two Chicago youth testified before a Congressional subcommittee on their experiences of homelessness and living doubled up, while still managing to pursue their education. Starnica Rodgers was 18 years old, eight months pregnant, and staying at The Night Ministry’s north side shelter for pregnant and parenting teens; she also just finished her first semester at Truman College. 25-year-old Brandon Dunlap was homeless during high school, but managed to earn a Bachelors degree from Kendall College, and is now working at the Union League Club of Chicago. You can read the compelling testimonies of Starnica, Brandon, and the other courageous young people who testified, or watch a clip from the NBC Nightly News.
The hearing was sponsored by Representative Judy Biggert from Chicago’s western suburbs, who is trying to increase resources for homeless children and youth in school. It was an unprecedented and powerful opportunity for homeless youth to share their experiences directly with Congress. As Representative Green from Texas explained in his opening remarks, “this is one of the most important hearings I have ever been a part of.”
Starnica, Brandon, and their sponsors from the Chicago Alliance and the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless spent the remainder of the day in Washington meeting with influential policymakers. They met with Representatives Danny Davis, Jan Schakowsky, and Robert Dold from the Chicagoland area and even Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa! All the legislators were impressed with Starnica and Brandon and vowed to work harder to end the “national embarrassment” of youth homelessness.
Make Your Voice Heard: Join the Advocacy Team Today
Do you want to be a part of a dynamic online community that is making strides to end homelessness in Chicago? Take the first step by signing up for the Chicago Alliance's Advocacy Team today.
The Advocacy Team consists of service providers, consumers, and concerned indivuals committed to making a difference and ending homelessness in their community. As a member of the Advocacy Team, you will receive periodic e-mail Action Alerts from the Chicago Alliance. The Alerts will provide information about important and timely legislation or policy matters at the federal, state, or city level and urge you to take action, most likely by contacting your elected representatives. The Advocacy Team is a true activist community -- the power of many voices will make the change we need.
Send us one quick e-mail today and you'll be the newest member of the Advocacy Team!
Chicago Alliance Advocacy Training
On December 1, 2010, the Chicago Alliance hosted "Strategies for Change: An Advocacy Training for Homeless Service Providers." The event was generously sponsored by Quarles & Brady LLP and held at their downtown office. Over forty providers attended the training and learned from:
- Legal experts about the advocacy do's and don'ts for 501(c)(3) organizations.
- A University of Chicago researcher about Chicago homeless service providers' involvement in advocacy.
- An expert Executive Director panel on involving staff, clients, and Board members in your advocacy efforts.
You can view the Advocacy Training presentation and University of Chicago report for more information. Contact Nicole Amling if you have any questions.