Advocates, All: Building a Culture of Legislative Advocacy in School Districts

Robert Long, Regional Advocacy Director – West Houston, Raise Your Hand Texas
Amy Dodson, Regional Advocacy Director – West Texas, Raise Your Hand Texas
Kaylan Dixon-Smith, Regional Advocacy Director – Dallas County, Raise Your Hand Texas

Legislative sessions may only happen every other year, but building a culture of legislative advocacy is year-in, year-out work. Everyone in a district has a role to play. This session will explore how to equip teachers, students, parents, staff, and administrators to be effective advocates and offer insights for deepening policy knowledge, building political awareness, and creating a hospitable environment for advocacy.

A Big Tent: Engaging External Stakeholders in Advocacy

Matthew Hall, Regional Advocacy Director – Panhandle, Raise Your Hand Texas
Sophie Torres, Regional Advocacy Director – San Antonio, Raise Your Hand Texas

Sometimes unusual suspects can make the best allies in advocacy efforts, and building coalitions is an important advocacy skill. This session will explore how to work with external stakeholders, including (but not limited to) civic groups, chambers of commerce, religious congregations, and individual businesses, on legislative priorities. Topics covered will include identifying possible partners, building mutually beneficial relationships, and approaching legislators.

Grassroots Organizations Building Community Support for Public Education in Texas

Kevin Brown, Executive Director, TASA
Dinah Miller, Co-founder and Co-Chair, Texas Parent PAC
Laura Yeager, Founder, Texas Educators Vote
Charles Foster Johnson, Founder and Executive Director, Pastors for Texas Children
Theresa Trevino, Board Member, Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessments (TAMSA)

Hear from a panel of pro-public education leaders from Texas Parent PAC, Texas Educators Vote, Pastors for Texas Children, and TAMSA as they join in conversation with TASA’s Kevin Brown about the importance of engaging community, parents, and other educators in grassroots advocacy to turn out the vote and address the issues plaguing the assessment and accountability system.