ACTE Techniques May 2012 : Page 14

CA p I t OL VIEW ACTE Advocacy: A Snapshot of Work in Washington Although this column is not compre -hensive, it will provide a snapshot of the work ACTE staff perform in the Nation’s Capital. link between CTE and STEM and the breadth of Agriculture Education related to the topic. Direct Lobbying ACTE is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organiza -tion. However, contrary to popular belief, such organizations are allowed to lobby Congress and the Administration. ACTE has four registered lobbyists on staff who regularly advocate before Congress and the Administration through in-person meetings, phone calls, e-mails and other contact. We provide proactive policy recom -mendations. For example, ACTE’s El -ementary and Secondary Education Act and Workforce Investment Act priorities were developed with input of ACTE task forces. We draft legislation and legisla -tive proposals, and work collaboratively with federal departments and agencies on regulatory issues which impact you. We often also respond to legislative initia -tives, either independently or in response to direct contact from congressional staff seeking our input and expertise on legisla -tive proposals. In addition to lobbying, much of ACTE’s work involves educating Con -gress about CTE. The Congressional CTE Caucus in the House of Representa -tives, which we helped to initiate a few years ago, is one way we perform this work. For instance, this spring, ACTE and the Caucus worked with Career and Technical Student Organizations on a reception titled “Beyond the Farm: Integrating Agriculture, STEM and CTE in the 21st Century,” to inform congres -sional members about the important Media Outreach Similar to our lobbying and education work on Capitol Hill, ACTE works both proactively and reactively with the media to promote positive stories, data and statis -tical information and to communicate the human side of an issue that makes for an interesting and relevant story. Reporters call us weekly for CTE information and we initiate press releases and events to promote CTE to the press. Connecting with CTE practitioners to provide the local angle that news agencies are seeking is a key strategy for promoting CTE. One way to do this is through edito -rial board meetings, such as the South Da -kota editorial board tour conducted this year. These visits resulted in positive story placements in every news outlet visited! PHOTO By ISTOCk.COM By Stephen DeWitt DURING tHE pASt YEAR, tHIS COLUMN HAS FOCUSED ON tACtICS AND StRAtEGIES Coalition-building ACTE is constantly seeking third-party advocates to support CTE and we work with other organizations, both formally and informally, on issues of mutual con -cern. For instance, one of ACTE’s staff led the Committee for Education Funding this year, an organization with 90 orga -nizations seeking to increase funding for education. The staff is also active with the National Skills Coalition, and a number of similar groups and organizations focused on workforce matters. Much of our work involves informal coalitions as well, communicating and networking with organizations to identify connections that advance CTE priorities. intended to support the CTE advocate— specific suggestions about how you can advocate with your policymakers and other important stakeholders. ACTE staff use these same tactics on a weekly basis. This column provides more information on how we apply the tactics in our work. ACTE’s public policy department has six full-time staff devoted to promoting and advocating for CTE. Our focus in -cludes direct lobbying to Congress, media outreach, coalition-building and the col -lection and dissemination of research and data. We undertake this work in a variety of ways. 14 Techniques Ma y 2012

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