Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Make your voice heard: Speak up for public health

With an Annual Meeting theme of “Politics, Policy & Public Health,” it would be a shame to not take full advantage of your time in D.C. by visiting your congressional representative and advocating on behalf of public health.

Making your voice heard in the halls of Capitol Hill is easier than it sounds — especially with APHA’s help. To make an appointment with your state’s senators or representatives, call their D.C. offices now to set up a meeting. You might not get a direct meeting with the policy-maker, but don’t pass up an opportunity to meet with her or his office staff. Hearing from constituents really does make a difference — especially if hundreds of public health-supporting constituents all descend upon Capitol Hill in the same few days.

To get started, visit the APHA Annual Meeting advocacy site. The Web site offers a wealth of tools for your advocacy experience, including talking points on APHA’s top priorities: improving access to health care, eliminating health disparities and supporting a robust public health infrastructure. Also offered are materials you can leave with your Congress members, a tool to help you find and set up an appointment with your representative, and a sample phone script if you only have time to make a phone call. The advocacy site also connects you to APHA’s CapWiz system, which allows you to personalize and send an e-mail to your representative or senator.

Students interested in visiting the halls of Congress, should meet up with APHA’s Student Assembly on Monday, Nov. 5, at 2:30 p.m. outside of APHA headquarters, which is located just a short walk from the Washington Convention Center at 800 I St., N.W. From APHA, participants will make their way to Capitol Hill to meet with their members of Congress. Send an e-mail to organizers for more information.

If you’re more inclined to take your voice to the D.C. streets, join the Community Speak Out on HIV/AIDS and Neighborhood March on Saturday, Nov. 3. Organized by the Metropolitan Washington Public Health Association, the event is designed to promote awareness and spur action on behalf of Washington, D.C.’s high HIV/AIDS infection rate. The march begins at noon from the corner of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King avenues, SE. The speak out begins at 2 p.m. at Washington Highlands Library, 115 Atlantic St., N.W. Visit MWPHA for more information.

The Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall will be the backdrop for a Global Warming Rally, also on Saturday, Nov. 3. The rally, organized by Step It Up, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, will run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Visit Step It Up for more info.


Anonymous said...

just an fyi -- APHA has free advocacy materials available in the expo hall on the second floor. Go by the Get Ready booth, number 537. It's over near "Everything APHA."

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