In order To build strong affiliates that are effective at lobbying, National Parents Organization first must develop three levels of activists. Level one are the volunteer members of each state’s Executive Committee charged with leading all activities in the affiliated state. Level two are the volunteer legislative liaisons charged with educating their legislators and those in the executive branch at both the state and federal levels about shared parenting and the desperate need for family court reform. Level three are all our members charged with the many forms of critical activism such as, writing, emailing, calling our elected officials when crucial votes are being taken, or testifying at legislative committee hearings, which are necessary to show the strength in numbers of our membership.
Level One: Executive Committee
National Parents Organization will ideally first form an eight member Executive Committee in each state. The Executive Committee will consist of members who possess the talents described below. It is conceivable and likely that the same person would fill multiple roles on the Executive Committee.
Chair of the Executive Committee: liaison between the state affiliate and National Parents Organization; works with National Parents Organization to organize the state affiliate and to build its membership and fundraising.
Legislative/Political: experience and a working knowledge of the legislative/regulatory process in the state affiliate and of the executive branch.
Family Law Attorney: able to accurately identify which section of the affiliated state’s laws that National Parents Organization will or should seek to change.
Membership Organizer: encourages National Parents Organization members to participate in campaigns. This includes national campaigns on issues and state campaigns to promote legislation.
Outreach Coordinator: reaches out to other organizations; arranges speaking engagements for themselves and other Executive Committee members to address National Parent’s Organization’s goals and how these goals work in the best interests of each participating audience; contact unions and business and professional associations to seek opportunities to address their members.
Fundraiser: works with the National Executive Director to solicit all Executive Committee members, legislative liaisons, and members in their state; and to identify and cultivate business owners and professionals to physically and financially participate in the work of National Parents Organization.
Media Liaison: experience and capabilities with developing stories for the local press and assists in overall framing, and message development.
Researcher: gathers information and data needed for successful lobbying in the state: the legislative cycle and calendar, filing deadlines for legislation, child support guidelines review cycle, legislative leadership, and legislative committee for family law.
Together, the Executive Committee of the state affiliate and National Parents Organization will develop the affiliated state’s:
· Political agenda
· Long term and short term goals
· Legislation to introduce
· Calendar for work based upon the legislative calendar
· Materials needed for lobbying and advocacy
· Opportunities for coalitions and endorsements
· Press releases and op-eds to local and state-wide media
Level Two: Legislative Liaisons
National Parents Organization and the Executive Committee will track the work of the Legislative Liaisons. They will feed the Liaisons ideas and information to educate their legislators and those in the executive branch at both the state and federal levels. As lobbying is a two-way process, and as National Parent’s Organization can only be as good as its affiliates. National Parents Organization will also gather information, through the Liaisons, on legislators and the critical issues supporting and confronting parental equality. This information will strengthen our work and help identify legislators most sympathetic to our issues.
Level Three: Members
The Executive Committee and National Parents Organization are responsible for developing regular communications with members in the affiliated state. Most often, these will be emails informing activists about the We must mobilize our membership when we need to show strength and influence through the number of calls and emails to legislators and the executive branch.