Advocacy: The Strength of Our Collective Voice

By Georiga Goodman, Senior Director, Government & Regulatory Affairs
September 16, 2021

It is said there is strength in numbers. That premise is the foundation LeadingAge PA builds our advocacy upon, for when we come together and advocate for change, the message is amplified to reach more lawmakers, carrying the potential for more powerful results. 

Yet, to many of us, the idea of advocating for what is best--for the senior services profession and its residents--is intimidating. At LeadingAge PA, we recognize the power of collaboration and have been working on a couple of tools to encourage advocacy and to inspire you to join us in strengthening our collective voice. 

Recently, we began developing an advocacy primer that offers recommended best practices, tips on how to get started, and resources for building relationships with local elected officials. Once the toolkit is complete, we are looking forward to working with and supporting novice advocates as they test their newly acquired advocacy skills with calls, visits, and letters. 

Along with our forthcoming toolkit, we are excited to launch a bill tracking webpage! This tool will enable members to monitor a snapshot of the legislative priorities LeadingAge PA is working on. From this webpage, which will debut on our new website this fall, members can read a summary of the bill, learn about LeadingAge PA's position on the proposed legislation, or find out the bill's status, as well as access additional resources, such as links to the bill or talking points developed by LeadingAge PA.

In addition to our legislative priorities, our team monitors the administration's regulatory agenda for proposed amendments that would affect our members or those they serve. Recently, scores of members responded to the Department of Health's (DOH) proposed change to the number of nursing hours required in the nursing facility regulations. Members used the guiding talking points that LeadingAge PA developed in response to the proposed regulations as they crafted passionate letters. These letters contributed to the thousands of comments DOH and the Independent Regulatory Review Commission must review and respond to.

Thanks to all who have been, and continue to be, advocates and respond to our calls for action in the LeadingAge PA Member Alerts or through contributions to our political action committee, which enable us to support candidates who understand and advocate for aging services. Our presence is stronger when our messages reflect the involvement of all of our member communities.

Together, we can tell your stories to elevate the needs of Pennsylvania's senior services providers.