Dec 07, 2016
Let's Grow Kids

"We're organized, we're passionate and we're not leaving."

Let’s Grow Kids Ambassadors and Action Teams from around the state gathered at Vermont Technical College in Randolph last Thursday, December 1, to celebrate the work we’ve done thus far, to learn from advocacy experts, and to map out the positive, lasting change we can create for all of Vermont’s children. Highlights include:

1. The world premiere of Let’s Grow Kids’ Momentum video, which showed how far we’ve come, where we’re going, and a reminder of why our journey is important.
 
2. Drawing from his experience in leading the charge for marriage equality in Massachusetts, Human Rights Campaign National Field Director Marty Rouse delivered an inspirational speech about all of the various components of a successful campaign:
  • One-on-one connections with legislators. Share personal perspectives that help them understand why this issue matters to you and treat legislators as human beings. “If you can connect with the people who are able to make change, you’re going to win.”
  • A plan. “You need to know where you’re headed and how you’re going to get there. Never lose sight of that big prize at the end but you have to know what you’re going to do tomorrow.“
  • A consistent message. “Everything you do has to be so obvious, so visible, that when you’re in the State House, they know who you are.”
  • Love. “Make sure legislators understand it’s not about dollars or your organization, it’s about the love between a parent and their child. Because how can you not do this for kids?
3. Rebecca Ramos from the Necrason Group talked about what’s happening in Vermont’s State House and offered tips on how to best reach a legislator to create change. Ramos said the campaign has made great progress but that change will not be easy and will take a lot of hard work: “Lobbyists in the House can have the best science, numbers and data, but volunteers are the engine and the gas that give us the ability to make change. This change does not happen without you.”
 
Click here to use LGK's Legislator Look-Up Tool. The tool let's you search for your legislators and find out what they've had to say about on high-quality, affordable child care. Click on the envelope icon by the legislators' names to send emails to your elected officials and let them know why this issue is important to you. 
 
4. Democratic nominee for Speaker of the House in Vermont, Mitzi Johnson, led a discussion on how to connect with legislators and what to say to help them understand this issue. 
 
 
5. Attendees were introduced to brand new LGK Advocacy Toolkits to help them lead change for children. These toolkits provided information on supporting increased investment in CCFAP as well as family and medical leave through the FAMLI Coalition, and were designed to help Action Teams advocate for early childhood through sharing their personal story, social media, letters to the editor and hosting house parties. The letter to the editor toolkit is available on our website here. All toolkits will eventually be available on our website. 
 
 
6. Ambassadors were grouped into regions to share insights on toolkits and specific legislative actions, identify next steps for Action Teams, highlight links to legislators and create a regional networking map. When the regional maps were joined together, Rebecca Ramos’s words rang true: 
 
“We’re organized, we’re passionate, and we’re not leaving.”
 
 
 

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