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Tip O’Neill, famous former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, often remarked ‘all politics is local.’ While we do not like to think about childhood cancer being a political issue, for meaningful change to occur our advocates must first engage policymakers at the local and state level utilizing a grassroots approach. Only with an increased public awareness of childhood cancer can we create a sense of urgency with our elected leaders to pass and implement policy to improve outcomes.

We believe we do this by empowering children and families to participate in advocacy in their local communities and state capitols. In our minds, advocacy is just a fancy word for storytelling to those who have the power to cast a vote. In a new expanded state advocacy initiative we can provide strategic direction as well as content from our digital advocacy toolkit to facilitate a ten-step process for creating policy change in each state.  

  1. Secure Childhood Cancer Awareness Month proclamation
  2. Organize Childhood Cancer Awareness Month legislative hearing
  3. Update your state cancer action plan to include childhood cancer language
  4. Create a state license plate to fund childhood cancer research and support services
  5. Pass legislation creating a pediatric cancer focused board consisting of parents, survivors, and pediatric oncologists to provide leadership and expertise
  6. Pass legislation creating a state income tax check off box on income tax returns
  7. PJammin at the Mansion
  8. International Childhood Cancer Day rally
  9. Childhood Cancer Caucus 
  10. Work with state governor and state legislators to specifically allocate (or ‘appropriate’) money from the state budget to go towards childhood cancer

ACCO ADVOCACY TOOLKIT

  • State Proclamation Language
  • Drafts of legislative language for creating Trust Fund board, state income tax check off box, childhood cancer caucus
  • Suggested language for your state cancer action plan
  • Assistance in formulating a strategic short-term and long-term plan for taking action
  • Talking points/one-pagers for legislators
  • Remarks for speeches
  • Branded power point templates with graphs and statistics
  • Utilization of Voter Voice software for official Calls to Action
  • Event planning assistance for ICCD, PJammin at the Mansion
  • GO GOLD items for legislative action days, legislative hearings

To receive more information or assistance with any of our Advocacy Toolkit documents, please email our Director of Government Relations and External Affairs Jamie Bloyd at jbloyd@acco.org.