Sue Cunniff Coughlin
“Delivering Our Messages to our Legislators on the Wings of Eagles”.
Our Legislative Program provides information and assistance to American Legion Auxiliary members to advocate for the legislative agenda of The American Legion. Remember when you write, email, or visit lawmakers as an ALA member, you must adhere to The American Legion’s legislative priorities, not other issues that you are passionate about. To familiarize yourselves with these priorities, visit The American Legion’s Legislative website and download he Point Papers and the 2018 Agenda. Sign up for Legislative Alerts.
Our Department will have to submit a mid-year and year-end report to National so please let me know what your members are doing this year. Every time you do something, just give me a call or send me an email or note. It would really help to report everything we do.
As part of your narrative report, please include answers to the following questions:
How did you educate members in the legislative issues promoted by The American Legion and how did your members employ those methods?
What legislative activities (town hall meetings, legislative receptions) did members attend in their communities and departments? What suggestions did members have to improve those activities? Please describe.
How did members develop relationships with their elected officials? Please describe.
Please describe how members were able to connect with their local and state officials and what their successes were.
The Legislative report on our Department website includes highlights from the Program Action Plan, many useful links and details for the awards for both National and Department. Please take some time to see what may interest you. No Department awards were presented last year, so let’s get some entries this year.
Our Department Legislative theme this year will be “Delivering Our Messages to our Legislators on the Wings of Eagles”. An eagle’s wingspan is very wide and we have to keep widening our reach to contact our legislators.
Our Legislative Program provides information and assistance to American Legion Auxiliary members to advocate for the legislative agenda of The American Legion. While we are advocating for the legislative agenda of The American Legion, we can also raise awareness for our mission and increase brand loyalty.
The complete Program Action Plan and supplement can be downloaded from the National ALA website under Members Only – Legislative. There is a wealth of information there with many suggestions of things we can do. I encourage everyone to take some time and see what is actually there. There are many links to help you. You may find something that really grabs your interest.
Here are a few suggestions from the Program Action Plan:
Subscribe to the Legion’s Legislative Action Alerts to receive notification when they call on all Legion Family members to take immediate action on a topic.
Order or download a copy of the ALA Legislative Advocacy Guide, which contains suggestions to help build legislative awareness in your community.
Visit the Legion’s legislative website to keep current on legislative priorities. The site also contains the Legion’s legislative priority sheets and point papers. The priority/drop sheets outline the Legion’s priorities and you can “drop” these in your elected official’s office. This site also has a wealth of information.
Actively post The American Legion’s legislative priorities on social media.
Identify your U.S. representative and two U.S. senators and build a relationship and rapport with these individuals and/or members of their staff. There is a guide on How to Contact Legislators to Advocate for Veterans, Servicemembers and their Families that can help you on the National website.
Encourage all members to make their concerns known to their elected officials. Please remember to only refer to the American Legion when promoting specifically outlined objectives of the American Legion Legislative Agenda. The Legislative Agenda can be found in the Legislative section of the American Legion website.
Attend or organize local informational town hall meetings to become better informed and to network with other community and civic organizations.
The links to these sites will be posted on the Department website so you can easily find them.
The National Awards will be as follows. More details are in the ALA National website.
Unit Award: Most Outstanding Unit Legislative Program
• Award: Citation Plaque
• Presented to: One unit in each division (5)
Department Award: Best Department Legislative Program
• Award: Citation
• Presented to: One department in each division (5)
The Department awards will be as follows. Rules will be published in the ALA Today and on the Department website.
1978 Sluggers Legislative Plaque for the Unit with best overall participation in the Legislative Program.
A $10 personal award for the runner up to the 1978 Sluggers Plaque
Our Department will have to submit a mid-year and year-end report to National so please let me know what your members are doing this year. Every time you do something, just give me a call or send me an email or note. It would really help to report everything we do. You will find my contact information on the Department website