Monthly Executive Director Message: Effective Advocacy

Monthly Executive Director Message: Effective Advocacy

Dear Friends,

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to participate in the 12th Annual Land Conservation Conference presented by the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association (PALTA).

It was a great conference, and if you could not make it this year, I urge you to mark your calendars for next year.

In the meantime, I thought I would share with you ten key points from the Advocacy session I had the honor of presenting with Kevin Abbey of ClearWater Conservancy, Oliver Bass of the Natural Lands Trust, and Sean Robertson of the Land Trust Alliance:

  1. Cultivate relationships. Don’t be a stranger to elected officials and their staff.
  1. Introduce yourself at every opportunity.
  1. Always say “thank you” before you say “please.”
  1. A well-written brief, thank you note is always appreciated.
  1. Always be concise and to the point.
  1. Engage the media when appropriate.
  1. A face-to-face meeting is the most effective form of communication, followed by phone calls, e-mails, letters and letters to the editor.
  1. Don’t burn long-term bridges over a short-term issue.
  1. Provide materials such as fact sheets, media clips, endorser letters, petitions, other demonstrations of grassroots support.
  1.  Be passionate, but rational. Avoid extremes.

With budget deliberations heating up in Harrisburg, please keep these tips in mind as you go about your advocacy work to protect our parks and open spaces, preserve our family farms, and safeguard our historic treasures.

In the meantime, we are being diligent in monitoring the state budget negotiations. It is the mission of the Coalition to protect conservation, recreation and preservation funding – and we will use every resource to do so.

Recently we have also been meeting with legislators who have introduced severance tax legislation to ensure that these proposals contain funding to increase investments in our environment. Any severance tax passed by the Commonwealth must contain funding for conservation, recreation and preservation programs. We owe it to future generations.

Also, I am happy to report that we have distributed nearly 2,000 copies of “Finding the Green,” a single-source guide to state funding opportunities for conservation, recreation and preservation projects.

If you have not gotten a copy, please contact me to order a print version or visit our website where it can be downloaded.

I truly enjoy opportunities to present at events like PALTA’s Land Conservation Conference and welcome the chance to talk about the Coalition’s work and how we can support your organization’s mission and goals.

Finally, the Coalition is looking for partners to join us in co-hosting “Finding the Green” days throughout the Commonwealth with the goal of educating participants on the current status of state funding for conservation, recreation and preservation programs, and how to effectively access funding for projects.

If you are interested in partnering with us or would like more information, please contact me.

Thank you!

And as always, thank you for all you to keep Pennsylvania Growing Greener!

Sincerely,

Andrew Heath
Executive Director
PA Growing Greener Coalition

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