Advocacy

Over the 50 days of the Mission 4/1 Earth campaign we will lift our voices together by writing more than 100,000 advocacy letters on environmental concerns to elected officials and local and national newspapers. Each email and written letter counts toward our goal of shouting out for the environment!

We've compiled a number of sample letters and resources to support your advocacy efforts. Questions? Send us a message.

Take action now
Design your own advocacy campaign
Understanding Environmental Justice
Advocacy FAQ's

Take Action Now

Protect our Communities from Unsafe Chemicals
The Safe Chemicals Act (S. 696) works to address the issue of toxic substances in our environments by giving the EPA more authority to regulate chemicals. Urge your elected officials to support this bill.

Protect the Environment from Destructive Extractive Industries
International mining practices are harming the earth and vulnerable communities. Call on Congress to support regulation and transparency in extractive industries.

Clean water for the planet and ALL of God's children!
More than 780 million people around the world live without sustainable options for improved water. It is time to make a serious commitment providing water access in ways that sustain God's people and planet.

Take action to stop the Pipeline!
The State Department recently issued an environmental review of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. Advocates are concerned that the review ignores the far-reaching impacts the pipeline will have on wildlife, habitat, and climate change.

Urge your Members of Congress to Include Conservation Compliance in the Farm Bill
Our farming practices have a major impact on the health of our environment. Every five or six years Congress writes a new Farm Bill and they are working on a new one this year. The Farm Bill is the legislative package of federal farm and food legislation that sets the farm, food, and rural policy goals and priorities for our nation.

Take Action on Climate Change!
As individual people of faith, we can power down our households and green up our communities, but 2013 will be the year when shouting out to our lawmakers can have its greatest impact. Tell your elected officials at every level to take climate change seriously as a moral imperative for change.

Protect Bristol Bay!
Bristol Bay, Alaska, is a wild, largely unspoiled eco-system. Over a half a million square miles of rivers, streams, lakes and wetlands support the largest remaining wild salmon populations and habitat on Earth.

Pass Fair Carbon Fee Legislation
As advocates we have a unique opportunity to weigh in and help to shape legislation to address carbon emissions. Take action now!

DIY – Design Your Own Advocacy Campaign


The most powerful advocacy campaigns are rooted in the issues that matter most to you and your community.  Here are some things to consider as you plan your advocacy efforts.

Developing an Advocacy Strategy
 
Before any advocacy campaign begins — before the letter–writing, petitions, or protests — advocates must have a clear strategy — an overall map of where you are, where you want to be, and how to get there.  At its heart, an effective strategy is based on five key questions:
 
What Do You Want? (Objectives)
 
An advocacy campaign must begin with a clear sense of what you want to achieve.  Your goal should be easily explainable and understood.
 
Who Can Give It to You? (Audiences)
 
The first question to ask is who has the authority to give you what you want.  Is it Congress, the state legislature, your city council, your local school board, your local health department?  Whoever it is, this is your primary audience.  Second, who will most directly influence their decision-making?  This could be the media, local business leaders, or other community groups.  They also need to be a target of your advocacy efforts.
 
What Do They Need to Hear? (Message)
 
An advocacy campaign must have a message that is clear, true, persuasive and consistent for the audiences that the campaign has targeted.  Advocates often make the mistake of believing that the most effective message is the most persuasive to themselves.  What do your audiences think, and what will genuinely move them to your side?  That message must be repeated, over and over again with clarity. 
 
Whom Do They Need to Hear It From? (Messengers)
 
The same message will have a very different effect depending on who communicates it.  In general, an advocacy campaign should have some messengers who have credibility as experts, some who can speak from personal experience, and others who have special credibility or connection to the person or group you have targeted. 
 
How Can We Get Them to Hear It? (Delivery)
 
Advocacy campaigns can deliver their message in many different ways – from lobbying or letters to protest and direct action.  Campaigns need to evaluate their options for action and weave the right ones together in a winning mix. 
 
(Advocacy tips reprinted with permission of Democracy in Action, a newsletter of the Democracy Center, The Institute for Public Policy Advocacy, P.O. Box 22157, San Francisco, California 94122, 415-564-4767, www.democracyctr.org.) 

Tips for Writing an Effective Letter
 
• State your purpose for writing in the first sentence of your letter – identify the issue and make a specific request [e.g. “I urge you to support the Jubilee global debt cancellation bill”].

• Identify yourself. Begin each letter or phone call by stating that you are a constituent. This will let the staffer know right away that they need to pay attention to your questions and concerns.

• Be brief and focus on one issue per message.

• Personalize your message – why does this matter to you?  Use a story to illustrate the impact of a policy position.

• Ask specific questions which may prompt something more than a form response.
    
Find your Elected Officials

Use the tool below to identify your local and national elected officials.

Find Elected Officials:

Enter 5 or 9 digit zip code


Helpful Websites
 
• U.S. House of Representatives:  http://www.house.gov
• U.S. Senate: http://www.senate.gov
• Library of Congress:  http://www.thomas.gov (tracking legislation)
• Govtrack: http://www.Govtrack.us (a civic project for finding information on legislation and members of Congress)

Understanding Environmental Justice


Need a little more background on the issues surrounding environmental justice? Want to better understand our biblical call to advocacy for the earth? Check out these resources for further insights.

Why should people of faith care about the environment?
Overview of Environmental Issues

Biodiversity
Climate Change
Environmental Racism
Consumerism
Energy
Food and Farming
Green Building
Green Jobs
Environmental Health
Mountaintop Removal
Tar Sands/Keystone XL Pipeline
Transportation
Water



Additional Mission 4/1 Earth Resources