Kari McCann Boutell, President, Iowa Council of Foundations
Last Tuesday I joined 25 Grade Level Reading (GLR) Leaders from across Iowa at the Capitol for our lunchtime GLR Day on the Hill. We used this fact sheet to help tell the story of 12 Iowa communities that are working to support third grade reading efforts across the state. As I watched clerks and pages collect slices of pizza for their respective legislators, I stood wondering “is this really the best way to make sure our voice is heard?” I am not sure it was and we are already planning for other ways to share our important work next session; however, I do think it is the combination of each of our efforts that make a difference in public policy work.
As we prepare for our Community Foundation Legislative Breakfast later this month, know that you can be actively engaged in advocacy efforts before, during and after the event to make sure your voice is heard. Here are some ideas:
- Attend a Town Hall meeting or Legislative Breakfast in your community when your legislators are in your community.
- Write an Op-Ed in your local newspaper explaining how the County Endowment Fund and Endow Iowa programs have benefited your communities and county. Let me know if you’d like ICoF to guest author!
- Visit the Capitol for face-to-face interactions. 10-15 minutes can be the best way to communicate with your representatives.
- Make a call to your representatives. This can be an effective way to be engaged around issues that are important to you professionally as well as personally.
However you choose to advocate, please engage. Your local voice, perspective and opinions are important to our state and federal legislators. As we seek to protect and preserve policy that helps philanthropy do its best work in Iowa and around the country, we are asking you, our valued partners and members, to join us.