What is Advocacy?
Advocacy is extremely important to the success of Head Start. As Head Start is funded primarily by public sources, securing adequate funding for our grantee members' academic, social, health and family services is one of our primary advocacy objectives. To accomplish this, we educate human services decision-makers about the wide range of services Head Start programs provide, about the succeesses of both the children and the families, about the research that proves its effectiveness...and about the savings it ultimately delivers to society.
For the Michigan Head Start Association, one of our primary objectives is to establish and maintain positive, ongoing contact with the legislative and executive branches of government, at the federal and state levels. This means keeping abreast of issues, trends and legislation that have the potential to affect Head Start, and letting legislators know and understand our point of view about such issues.
Individuals involved in the Head Start program, and others with a special interest in the program are in a perfect position to be heard by policy makers. Their personal experiences and successes with the programs reinforce the impact that Head Start has on the lives of the families in their jurisdiction. Legislators often make important decisions based on only a few contacts from their constituents. When they know voters "back home" care about an issue, they pay attention. Let them know what you think.
And, be sure to register to vote. It's easy! The only requirements are that you are a U.S. citizen, resident of Michigan and are at least 18 years old. You can register at your county's election office, or click here for a step by step guide to becoming a registered voter. You can also call 1-888-767-6424 for more information.
Once you've registered, it's important to vote in local, state and national elections. Be informed about the issues and the candidates, and be part of the process. You will make a difference!