Washington Insight

APWA prepares resource tools for state advocacy

Heather McTavish
Government Relations Coordinator
APWA Washington, DC Office

State legislatures, already responsible for issues that affect daily life, today are more willing, able and authorized to craft solutions to problems once debated in Washington. State and local officials will have more leeway this year to help shape and operate the full range of federal social, regulatory and public works programs. With state legislatures crafting legislation and regulations impacting member departments, advocacy is as important as ever. An integral part of advocacy means having a hand in developing the legislation and some control in passing it.

As part of the strategic plan, APWA is committed to provide state advocacy information, resources, tools, and support to all APWA chapters and all members in the United States so that they will become more effective advocates at the state level.

Changes in technology have presented APWA with an opportunity to introduce a new initiative in 2001 targeted towards impacting regulatory issues and legislation. Accurate, up-to-date legislative information is now increasingly available via the Internet. APWA recently produced and is making available to all members a state-by-state APWA State Advocacy Resources guide. The guide lists web site addresses in each state with links to bill information, the Governor's office, and other advocacy contacts, including web site addresses for the state municipal league and county association in your state. These web sites will allow quick, direct access to a wider range of advocacy information of interest to chapters and members, and help promote expanded advocacy activity in all 50 states.

The advocacy resources guides are posted on APWA's web site, http://www.apwa.net/GovtAffairs/index.asp. The information can also be accessed through the Hot Topics section on the web site, http://www.apwa.net./hottopics. A map of all 50 states plus the District of Columbia allows users to obtain information on every state. As additional state advocacy resources become available, we will update APWA's guides to reflect the latest advocacy tools. APWA encourages members to post the information on their chapter sites, distribute it to chapter members, and publish it in chapter newsletters.

In expanding our advocacy program, we are also making APWA government relations staff available to attend annual meetings, chapter meetings, or affiliated organization meetings and make a presentation on advocacy and government relations activities. If you are interested in having a member of our Washington Office staff attend your chapter annual conference or other meeting, please contact Heather McTavish in APWA's Washington Office at 202-408-9541.