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.
- Send out a reminder to your volunteers coming to show support the morning of the meeting.
- 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.
- When you are called on to present…
- Express your gratitude for the opportunity to present.
- Take time to briefly acknowledge your supporters in the room.
- Be respectful and be calm.
- 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.
- If your policy passes…
- CELEBRATE! Take time to relish in the joy of all your hard work paying off.
- Get a copy of the signed policy. Sometimes this takes persistence.
- Move on the next step of implementing your policy (link to implement and defend section).
- 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.
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.
- 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.”
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.