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Learning How to Lobby: The Network Offers Members a How-To on Advocacy and Lobbying

03.22.2019

Over 40 Network member staff and tenants gather for a workshop on confident storytelling, persuasion, and supportive housing’s most urgent funding needs.

On February 28th, about a week before the Network’s annual Lobby Day, some 40 member staff and tenants joined the Network for an interactive workshop generously hosted by Urban Pathways at the Ivan Shapiro House in Manhattan. The training featured everything from the fundamentals of the state budget process to how to navigate the Capitol Building. Yet an overarching goal was to incorporate tenants’ and staff’s real-life experiences in order to forcefully communicate the need for additional funding for supportive housing.

The morning began with a dialogue exercise aiming to uproot and replace the “filler” words that often occupy gaps in conversations: “um,” “like,” etc. The Network then led members through a summary of the names and jargon of the people and places that make up the New York State government.

Then Network staff briefed participants on the Network’s specific “asks.” (Please visit this page for a full description on the supportive housing community’s budget requests.)

The most important part of the training, however, was holding mock legislator meetings. Attendees broke into groups to practice explaining their work, their passion for supportive housing, and/or their personal experiences of homelessness and the dramatic changes that the housing model had provided for them. The mock meetings allowed attendees to practice their own powerful stories as they headed into Lobby Day.

The Network was glad to have been joined by members from Breaking Ground, Brooklyn Community Services, CAMBA, Lantern Community Services, Odyssey House, Praxis, Unique People Services, Urban Pathways, Women in Need, and West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing.

For photos from the training, please visit our Facebook page here.

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