Advocacy is one of the four core elements of the Shoreline PTA Council mission statement. For us, that means empowering local PTAs to make their voices heard in our state and local government to affect change on issues impacting that PTA's children, school, or community. We do this primarily by providing support and resources for local PTA's Advocacy or Legislative Chairs.
Advocacy is a year-round activity, but there are two annual events where Legislative Advocacy takes center stage. In January or February, PTA members from across the state convene in Olympia to promote our legislative priorities at Focus Day with our representatives in the Washington State Legislature. In the Fall, we come together again for Legislative Assembly where we evaluate and set our priorities around which issues we want to put our collective energy into for the next year.
Focus Day / Advocacy Week Focus Day is a day when PTA members from around the state come together in Olympia to advocate for our State PTA legislative platform. As a District, we try to join in this day of advocacy as a part of WSPTA and use it to meet with our own representatives to advocate for our own community.
The campus in Olympia is closed to the public for the 2021 legislative session, which means that we will not be able to host our annual Focus Day on the Capitol steps. However, advocacy is not a one-day event; it is an everyday action. And so, we are moving to an ongoing “Focus on Advocacy” program to keep members informed and engaged throughout the session, keeping our efforts focused on the mission.
Legislative Assembly Each year in the Fall, delegates from local PTAs meet to propose, debate, and vote for the Legislative Issues (including the top 5 Legislative Priorities) which will form the foundation of the WSPTA platform for the next year. In even numbered years, the existing issues are removed and a new set of issues are proposed. In odd numbered years, we update the previous year's issues and new issues may be added.
Legislative Assembly 2021 dates and location are TBD.
Ensure your local PTA has allocated budget to send delegates to Legislative Assembly.
Determine how many voting delegates your PTA is allocated and who will attend to vote. You may send as many non-voting delegates as you would like in addition to the voting delegates. Reference the Advocacy Handbook on the WSPTA Leadership Guides webpage for help in calculating your allotted voting delegates.
Register for Legislative Assembly (Registration has not yet opened for 2021.)
Submit draft Issues/Resolutions/Principles by TBD.
Submit final Issues/Resolutions/Principles by TBD.