Identify a public policy issue affecting older adults and write a letter to a public official local, state or national who can help affect change. Be sure to identify the community/ agency represented by the public official. For example, advocating for improved traffic conditions/more traffic lights in a particular neighborhood–research how this is influenced and changed via existing policy. Justify your letter with at least one reference.
Advocacy Letter Guidelines
Advocacy letters are one important way of working at a systems level to address the issues you observe affecting a population. Policy makers need to hear from the public about problems that are affecting the health or quality of life of their constituents. As a professional you have the skills to speak on behalf of a community or population that may require your assistance or support. In addition, you will be in a position to empower a community to advocate for itself. This assignment will help you to practice making a difference at a population level.
Chose an issue of concern among an older adult population that is near and dear to you, your family, or community. It could be something that is directly linked to nursing and older adults well-being, such as access to care. It could be an environmental issue affecting health of a population, such as air quality. There are many possibilities, if you are stuck for a topic, consider asking an older adult!
The issue you choose should help to determine who the best person would be to send it to. Ideally, that would be who could affect the most change. Consider the local city council member, borough president, senator, or mayor.
Your letter may be more powerful if you include a strong reference about your main point. If you do, use a footnote so you can put it on the same page (tiny superscript number with corresponding ref at the bottom). Keep this to a minimum because you will have little space.
Guidelines for Advocacy Letter
The advocacy letter should be no more than one page. Succinct and to the point.
Clear statement of the problem, why it’s important and an “ask” (what you want done)
(Objective) Succinct explanation, history, details (better with evidence) and how it affects the population. Include a reference! Clear focus on main point of the problem.
(Subjective) Clear, brief, powerful. How can the reader impact this issue? What are your suggestions for change?
Clean reiteration, respectful language, and a strong concluding sentence. Thank the reader