Use Your Voice: The Power of Advocacy

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Returning home from a day of legislative visits left me feeling energized and empowered.

As an intern responsible for leading The L.A. Trust’s advocacy work for the summer, I had the opportunity to determine what policymakers to visit, schedule meetings, create the agendas and finalize talking points for my fellow interns. I created profiles for the fourteen wellness centers that highlight important policies that would benefit the health of children in LAUSD.  This work culminated into four visits to state and federal government offices with representatives from both sides of the aisle. While each visit was uniquely different, they all added value by either educating about the importance of school-based health care or collaborating on policy or community events to improve children’s health.

One of my favorite visit experiences was to Assemblyman Jones-Sawyer’s office. When I asked about his level of understanding for school-based health care, he was well aware of its benefit to students and the surrounding community. I witnessed my fellow interns engage into lengthy conversations about topics ranging from violence to asthma. After a 45-minute conversation, we left with a to-do list of action-items to work with the Assemblyman. In fact, a week later, The L.A. Trust’s Executive Director, Maryjane, was invited to speak on a panel sponsored by his office.

I encourage everyone to visit their local, state, and/or federal representative and share your voice. As my supervisor, Sang, would often remind me, “if you don’t, who will?”

Sarah Danson is a public policy and business administration major at USC. To learn more about Sarah, click here

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