Advocacy 101

By Susanne Smoller, Legislation Coordinator

PTA advocacy focuses on speaking on behalf of children, youth and families to schools, communities and government.

This year, NYS PTA is making supporting regions in their local advocacy efforts a priority. To that end, an advocacy calendar has been emailed to all PTA members via a membership email. This calendar provides activities that all PTA entities can use to establish their advocacy plan. Presidents should also look out for bi-monthly emails with advocacy updates and disseminate the information to local units.

Now is also the time to start to think about becoming a Key Advocacy Partner (KAP). KAPS are appointed by PTA regions to represent them at the training advocacy day in Albany on February 12-13, 2017.

What is the role of a Key Advocacy Partner (KAP)? A Key Advocacy Partner (KAP) should demonstrate interest and commitment to making New York State PTA’s vision – to be the premier parent involvement and advocacy organization for children and youth – a reality.

Advocacy Partners should be willing to:

  • Attend pre-Lobby training sessions
  • Participate, with the guidance of the NYS PTA Advocacy Team, in Lobby Day visits to the legislators at Legislative Office Buildings in Albany, NY
  • Become part of a NYS PTA Advocacy Action Network by participating on occasional conference calls to discuss issues, legislation, and action plans facilitated by the Advocacy Team
  • Partner with Region and Local Legislation Chairs
  • Disseminate and report information and alerts to regions and local units/councils as requested by the Advocacy Team
  • Participate in state conferences/convention as opportunities for network meetings and training when requested
  • Assist the Advocacy Team with identifying strategies to engage grassroots members
  • After adequate training, bring advocacy training to the region and local unit/council members
  • Encourage and assist local units/councils with arranging visits with legislators in their local offices

There are also opportunities for Units and Councils to send Local Advocacy Partners (LAP) to the advocacy training and Lobby Day. Look for registration information in NYS PTA emails and website.

If you are attending NYS PTA Convention, please attend the Post Convention Advocacy Workshop. We will go through steps to advocate for positions voted on by delegates at Convention. To view current positions, go to Where We Standhere.

Any questions on advocacy or legislative issues, please contact me at