Built to Win: Developing Legislative Agendas as Advocacy Tools

JoLisa Hoover, Regional Advocacy Director – Central Texas, Raise Your Hand Texas
Missy Bender, Regional Advocacy Director – Collin/Denton Counties, Raise Your Hand Texas

Developing a legislative agenda, or a list of policy priorities, is an important step for school districts to accomplish their goals in Austin during a legislative session. However, a legislative agenda can be much more than a list. When created in partnership with stakeholders from across a district, it can become a powerful galvanizing tool for advocacy. This session will explore developing legislative agendas as a process that builds advocacy capacity within a district.

More than Duty: Why Get Out the Vote Work Matters for Schools

Skylar Gallop, Regional Advocacy Director – Panhandle, Raise Your Hand Texas
Cassandra Jones, Regional Advocacy Director – Central Houston, Raise Your Hand Texas
Giovanni Escobedo, Regional Advocacy Director – South Texas, Raise Your Hand Texas

We often talk about voting as a ‘civic duty,’ and it certainly is that. But how can engaging in get-out-the-vote (GOTV) work be good for school districts? Why should long-term efforts to increase voter turnout be a priority? And how can districts do this work safely within all legal bounds? This session will explore these questions and offer practical tips for impactful GOTV work, even in challenging political circumstances.

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.