Have you ever felt passionate about an issue or cause but you aren’t sure how to make your voice heard? If this sounds like you, let us teach you a few easy ways that you can start Advocating in order to share your opinions and help make positive changes in our government and communities!
One method of advocating is contacting a government representative. These representatives could be Senators in Washington, a governor in a statehouse, a mayor in a townhall or even a member of your local school board.
By calling, writing, or emailing officials you make sure that your voice is heard and the issues you are concerned about come to the attention of those who are making the decisions.
ASDA provides the Engage website which provides resources to get informed on issues relevant to dental students and to quickly take direct action on them by sending an email to your representatives.
Another way to make sure your opinions are heard is by directly visiting a representative. This is also called lobbying and can be an extremely effective method to influence change because it allows the official to put a face to a cause and to ask you questions about your cause. ASDA and the ADA organize both state and national lobby days to help get both students and dentists into representatives offices to lobby.
For those of you who want to see a change but are less comfortable with making contact yourself, there is still a strategy to advocate. This is by supporting a political action committee. These organizations employ professionals who contact the representatives on your behalf. To support these groups, you can either volunteer for them or donate money. The Dental profession is advocated for by ADPAC on a national level and WIDPAC in Wisconsin.
Next time you feel strongly about a change that needs to be made, don’t stay silent. Instead, choose the Advocacy method that best suits you and make sure your voice is heard before someone else makes a decision that could affect your future.