Child advocacy: If you don’t talk to your elected officials, they can’t hear you

Children's Advocacy Network

I used to get so frustrated with the decisions made by my elected officials. Why didn’t they do what I wanted them to do? They’re supposed to represent me, right?

One problem — I never communicated with any of them. How were they supposed to represent me if I didn’t explain how I felt? That’s when I discovered the importance of advocacy.

Legislators are not content experts. They rely on us as constituents to explain the facts, provide details and clarify why specific items are important. They may not always vote the way we’d like them to, but we can ensure their decisions are informed.

When elected officials hear from a large number of people on a specific issue, they are more likely to vote in our favor. This is why it is important to join Children’s Advocacy Network. Thanks to efforts by C.A.N. advocates, we have strengthened concussion laws related to youth athletics. The more voices we have, the more influence we have to affect change.

As a C.A.N. advocate, I receive emails about important issues and it is up to me to contact my elected official. It’s easy to sign up and only takes a couple of minutes. Add your voice today at chw.org/cansignup. Once you sign up, invite your friends and family to join, too. Now through March 15, the more people you recruit, the more prizes you are eligible for! If you recruit 10 people, you’ll receive a Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin fleece or sweatshirt. You also will be entered in a drawing to win a $75 gas card.

Be sure to visit chw.org/cansignup and become a member today. Our kids thank you!

Kristen Grimes, MAOM, MCHES- Kristen Grimes, member, Children’s Advocacy Network

Through Children’s Advocacy Network, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin helps improve the health and well-being of all children and families. By joining Children’s Advocacy Network, you’ll receive updates on our activities, learn about opportunities to contact your legislator or be asked to participate in community events.

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