Blog contributions from Jordan Gutierrez-Ramirez, United Way ATX Corporate Volunteer Manager Brooke Freeland, United Way ATX Policy Consultant Cathy McHorse, United Way ATX VP of Success By 6
At United Way for Greater Austin we welcome our community to create positive change with us through three avenues: Give. Advocate. Volunteer. While giving and volunteering often feel straightforward, many folks aren’t sure where to start with advocacy. Thankfully, our resident advocacy expert Brooke Freeland is here to show that advocacy is easy! You just have to know where to start. Brooke and our team recently hosted a Volunteer Advocacy training to teach our community how to support issues they care about — and now we’d like to invite you (and everyone in ATX) to learn how to be an awesome advocate!
“It was a great session… because in my head I always thought advocacy was much more involved and complex. I didn’t realize it was as simple as an email.”
Want to know how YOU can become an awesome advocate? Here’s how:
- Step 1: Identify the issue you care about
- Step 2: Decide the change you’d like to see
- Step 3: Learn who the decision makers are
- Step 4: Take action
Here’s how to find those decision makers:
Here’s how to engage with those decision makers:
- Write letters, send emails, or call your elected officials
- Participate in social media campaigns to spread the word
- Submit op-eds or letters to the editor of your local newspaper
- Testify by phone or email at public meetings (hosted by the school board, city council, or legislature)
Another amazing way to make your voice heard is by VOTING! We believe voting is advocacy in its highest form. By voting for your representatives, you are selecting folks who will align with the vision you have for your city, state, and country. These officials are elected by, and serve, you. The good news is, voting is easy too — if you follow these four simple steps.
STEP 1: MAKE SURE YOU ARE REGISTERED TO VOTE
*October 5, 2020 was the last day to register to vote for the November 3, 2020 election, but if you missed the deadline you should still register for future elections.
STEP 2: MAKE A PLAN TO VOTE
Decide how you will vote and when.
- Vote early, in person: Registered voters may vote early, in person, at any early voting location in their county.
- Early voting runs from Tuesday, October 13 – Friday, October 30; Monday-Saturday, 7 AM – 7 PM, Sunday 12 – 6 PM.
- Travis County early voting locations can be found here.
- Vote by mail: Voters who will be unable to vote in person are eligible to vote-by-mail in Texas. Your vote-by-mail application must be received by October 23, 2020.
- Live in Travis County? Drop off your completed mail-in ballot here.
- Vote in person on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3.
- Click here for a list of polling locations in Texas by county.
- Remember to bring your ID with you to the polls!
STEP 3: LEARN ABOUT YOUR BALLOT
Click here to see who and what is on your ballot.
STEP 4: VOTE!
Make your voice heard, and VOTE.
If you’d like to be informed of opportunities to advocate on behalf of early childhood education in Greater Austin, sign up for our Advocacy Newsletter.