During the month of August, while members of Congress were in their home states for the August congressional recess, AADE advocates were busy advocating for the Expanding Access to Diabetes Self-Management Training (DSMT) Act (H.R. 1840, S. 814). Advocates attended local events, met with their legislators in their home offices, sent letters and social media messages, and encouraged others to do the same. As a result, we added 6 new co-sponsors to the H.R. 1840 just in the month of August. This means we now have over 50 cosponsors on the House bill! Check to see if your representative or senators are on the list.
AADE hopes to keep building the list of cosponsors, and we’ve launched a new advocacy tool to make it easier for advocates to contact their legislators and request their support of the legislation. Advocates can also thank legislators who have already cosponsored. To view the site, visit DiabetesEducator.org/actnow. Below are some highlights of the new platform:
- Easily Find Your Elected Officials: There are two ways to find your elected officials on the new Legislative Action Center. The first is on the home page (scroll down to the bottom of the page) and the second is by clicking the “Directory” tab at the top of the page. Enter your street address and zip code and your federal AND state legislators will appear.
- Get to Know Your Elected Officials: Once you identify your elected officials, click on their name to find their contact information, biographical information, listing of key staff members, committees they serve on, and if they support the Expanding Access to DSMT Act. You can also find out if they have any townhall events scheduled. AADE hopes that these detailed pages will serve as an important advocacy tool for AADE members.
- More Ways to Reach Your Elected Officials: When taking action on a piece of legislation, like the Expanding Access to DSMT Act, you will now have the option to send a letter, Tweet, post on Facebook, or call your legislators, directly from the site. Also, when you click on an action alert, there will be a “learn more” section that continues supporting documents and additional information. This system can also determine if your member of Congress is already a cosponsor of the Expanding Access to DSMT Act. If they are, you will get a tailored message that allows you to thank your legislator for their support.
- Find Elections: It can be hard to keep up with key election dates, especially for local elections. This site allows you to look up election dates using your address and provides voter registration information and eligibility requirements for voting.
- Send a Letter to the Editor: This site also has an option for media outreach. Under the “Media” tab at the top of the home page, you can enter your zip code and the site will populate a list of media contacts in your area. You will be able to select the media outlet/newspaper you wish to contact and can send a letter to the editor directly from the site.
- Advanced Federal and State Legislative Tracking: This site has advanced functionality for tracking federal and state bills. Visit the “Bills” tab at the top of the home page to review current legislation. If you are working on a piece of state legislation, e-mail Kate Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org to add this legislation to the system for tracking.
These are just some of the many new features on the Legislative Action Center. AADE hopes this tool helps to support the advocacy efforts of our members as we work to advance the Expanding Access to DSMT Act!