After all you’ve done to raise awareness within your community and advocate for your policy with decision-makers, presenting your policy is the climactic moment. Your policy may or may not pass, but regardless of the outcome your community needs you to remain steadfast and keep moving forward.

Coalition Framework: Policy

Planning

  1. Send out a reminder to your volunteers coming to show support the morning of the meeting.
  2. Plan to arrive early so you can get comfortable with the setting, set up any equipment you need, and try to have a brief visit with decision-makers as they arrive.
  3. When you are called on to present…
    1. Express your gratitude for the opportunity to present.
    2. Take time to briefly acknowledge your supporters in the room.
    3. Be respectful and be calm.
    4. Answer questions openly and don’t be afraid to say, “let me get back to you on that” if you don’t know the answer.
  4. If your policy passes…
    1. CELEBRATE! Take time to relish in the joy of all your hard work paying off.
    2. Get a copy of the signed policy. Sometimes this takes persistence.
    3. Move on the next step of implementing your policy (link to implement and defend section).

Follow-up

  • Discuss with your volunteers what went well and what didn’t go well. Then plan how you will revise your approach next time you present your policy.

What if?

The policy doesn’t pass…

  • Be respectful of their decision, but let decision-makers know you’ll be back and ask for actionable things you can do to improve the chances of earning their vote next time.
  • Meet with your volunteers and do what you can to boost morale.

Hints

  • Take photos to document the process.
  • Give items to decision makers to showcase your work and commitment to the policy (ex. signs, newspaper clippings, or youth artwork).
  • Follow up with decision makers who commented or gave you a vote. If you need to clarify misinformation try to speak with them one-on-one. If you just want to say thank you, have your volunteers sign a card to mail.

Čaŋlí Coalition Example

Listen to a recap of the meeting when the Canli Coalition convinced the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Council to pass their Smoke-Free Air Ordinance 77.

The Canli Coalition youth volunteers handed out memorial candles to decision makers “in memory of their loved one who died or suffer from tobacco-related illnesses.”

group listening to presentation, group of cards, youth volunteer with candles
feather illustration

To include cultural lifeways, we… followed local protocols at tribal council meetings by standing during the morning prayer and shaking hands with tribal council members after presenting.

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