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Virtual Advocacy Day

This webpage provides everything you need to make your Virtual Advocacy Day on March 10 a success. Please join us on Wednesday, March 10, at 9am via zoom at https://icadv-org.zoom.us/j/84770984786

Quick Links:

Our Goals for Virtual Advocacy Day is to help Iowa's elected officials understand:​
  • the importance of proactive policies that prevent violence before it occurs

  • the essential need to fund homicide programs at a sustainable rate consistent with all other victim services

  • the need for increased funding of services to meet the diverse needs of victims and survivors

  • why it’s more vital than ever to understand the importance of holistic support for victims of violent crimes, including homicide, sexual assault and domestic violence

Agenda (all to take place over zoom):
  • 9-9:15 a.m. – Welcome and Remarks from ICCC, IowaCASA, ICADV Coalition Directors 

  • 9:15-10 a.m. – Virtual Advocacy Tutorial and Briefing on Victim Service Legislative Priorities

  • 10-10:15 a.m. – Overview of Homicide Investment

  • 10:15 - 10:30 a.m. - Support Space for Questions, Practice, Etc. 

  • 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Take Action! Contact your legislators to discuss victim/survivor issues that are important to you. 

  • 1-2 p.m. – Debrief opportunity to help inform advocacy efforts

Main Legislative Ask:

The main legislative ask for this session is for funding of victim services. If you have any questions or if you have other issues you'd like to address in your advocacy, let us know during the Q&A portion of the agenda. 

 

In light of devastating cuts in federal grants to states for victim services and the increased cost of providing services due to COVID-19, state funding for victim services will be a top priority for all three coalitions. Discussion on funding in the legislature will occur 9 days after Virtual Advocacy Day, so this is a very important point to touch on. 

  • While federal funds enhance program capacity, state funds support infrastructure that enables local agencies to provide comprehensive, lifesaving services. Please invest at least $7.5 million in state funds for victim services for sexual assault, domestic violence, and homicide. These funds address significant unmet needs, ease the impact of federal funding cuts, and prioritize efforts to eliminate disparities in access to services for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.  

Find Your Legislators:

‘Meet’ with Legislators representing where you live, work, and/or go to school. To find out which legislators represent you just click here or https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/find and enter your address.

 

Email: Following are links to alphabetical lists of legislators which include individual email addresses. You can click on the legislator’s name for bio information and to sign up for their newsletters and some members list their home address and personal phone numbers. Generally, legislator’s email addresses are firstname.lastname@legis.iowa.gov

 

House: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/house

Senate: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/senate

 

Phone: When the State Legislature is in session you can reach legislators by calling the House or Senate switchboard.

 

House switchboard: 515-281-3221

Senate switchboard: 515-281-3371

Templates for Contacting Your Legislators:

Email template:

Representative [insert last name] or Senator [insert last name]:

My name is [your name] and I am [who are you? a survivor? constituent? victim advocate? program director?] from [where do you live? or, if you are a victim advocate, where is your program located?]. I am participating in the Virtual Advocacy Day for the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the Iowa Coalition for Collective Change [or, choose 1 of the 3 coalitions that best represents you].

While federal funds enhance program capacity, state funds support infrastructure that enables local agencies to provide comprehensive, lifesaving services. Please invest at least $7.5 million in state funds for victim services for sexual assault, domestic violence, and homicide. These funds address significant unmet needs, ease the impact of federal funding cuts, and prioritize efforts to eliminate disparities in access to services for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Can we count on your support?   

If possible, I would like to schedule a time to meet with you by phone or video conferencing today, if possible, to discuss more. I look forward to your response with a time for us to talk about how we can support and address the needs of crime victims.

Sincerely,

[your name, city]

Phone call template:

Representative [insert last name] or Senator [insert last name]:

My name is [your name] and I am [who are you? a survivor? constituent? victim advocate? program director?] from [where do you live? or, if you are a victim advocate, where is your program located?]. I am participating in the Virtual Advocacy Day for the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the Iowa Coalition for Collective Change [or, choose 1 of the 3 coalitions that best represents you]. Please invest at least $7.5 million in state funds for victim services for sexual assault, domestic violence, and homicide. These funds address significant unmet needs, ease the impact of federal funding cuts, and prioritize efforts to eliminate disparities in access to services for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. Can we count on your support? 

Don't forget to tell us how your interaction(s) go!

Tips for Talking to Legislators
  • Relax- they are people too and they like to talk to constituents.

  • Introduce yourself and say where you are from.

  • Be brief: pick 1 or 2 topics, state why you support, use personal impact story when possible, ask for their support, i.e. Can I count on your support?

  • Be honest: It is ok not to know- your credibility is most important, i.e. never guess or give false information. Just promise to get back to them.

  • Be respectful: Speak passionately but don’t insult or argue. If they disagree, they may support you later. Find a shared value.

  • Thank/Follow up: send email thanking them for meeting, re-stating your request, and providing any information you promised to send.

 

Don’t take it personally if they have to cut the meeting short due and/or if you meet with staff instead of the legislator. Staff are main source of information for legislators. Please fill out your legislator meeting summaries--they are extremely helpful to our advocacy efforts.

Legislative Priorities:

Resources for Advocacy Day:

If you have questions or concerns about participating in Virtual Advocacy Day, please contact:

Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault: membership@iowacasa.org or 515-850-1905

Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence: lindsayp@icadv.org or 515-421-4658

Iowa Coalition for Collective Change: main office is 515-442-5217; Luana, Executive Director is 515-412-4448

Report Back About Your Interaction:

Please let us know how your interactions went with your elected officials by filling out the interaction report. This helps inform our future advocacy efforts.

We Appreciate Your Feedback:

Following the day's events, let us know how we did by filling out the Virtual Advocacy Day evaluation form.