Dear Groundwork Team, I am thrilled to announce that Representative Ryan Smith, House Finance Chair, will be addressing you as at Groundwork's Advocacy Day! Representative Smith is a dedicated public servant and a respected leader. He has been at the forefront of our state's response to the Opioid Epidemic and been a champion for his district, bringing attention to disparities that exist in Ohio's Appalachian region. We are grateful that he has taken time to join us and look forward to his remarks on early childhood education in Ohio as he understands well that our kids are our most important investment.
Senator Ryan Smith (R-House District 93) is serving his third term in the Ohio House of Representatives and currently serves as the Chair of the powerful House Finance Committee. Chairman Smith represents Jackson and Gallia counties as well as portions of Lawrence and Vinton. Learn more here.
There has been an overwhelming level of support for Groundwork's Advocacy Day and our special guests, including Representative Smith, are part of what makes this day so exciting. Given the interest in our event, we have done our best to accommodate everyone, but have reached capacity two weeks in advance of the event......wow! If you have questions or concerns regarding registration, please contact Lynanne at lwolf@GroundworkOhio.com. If you are not able to join us, please stay connected with Groundwork--we value your support and our children need everyone sharing their stories at the Statehouse. We look forward to engaging with you in the future and don't hesitate to reach out to me directly as we continue to build partnerships around the state. If you are registered for our event, see below for a few advocacy day tips as you prepare for meetings with legislators. A final agenda will be made available next week so stay tuned! Shannon Jones Executive Director 5 Tips for Legislative Visits 1. Share Your Story: Whether you are a child advocate, child care provider, local early childhood champion, parent or business leader, you are all part of the quality early childhood education system we are building in Ohio You are on the ground doing the good work--legislators want to hear your story! Why have you committed your life or resources to this work? What impact is it having on kids in your community?
2. Stay On Message: Groundwork derives it's strength by casting a wide net of support from stakeholders around the state and delivering a unified message at the Statehouse. You will be provided with all the materials you need to share Groundwork's case for why early childhood education is critical to all Ohioans and why Groundwork's state budget proposal is a first, critical step in moving the needle for quality early childhood education even in a challenging budget environment.
3. Engage the Staff: Staff advise legislators on policy issues and can be an influential part of a legislator's decision-making process. Treat them as you would a legislator because they often have more time to engage with you.
4. Be A Resource: Legislators rely on their constituents and seasoned advocates to educate them about what is important to their community. Remember, you are a valuable resource to your legislators and their staff. Be willing to be a resource of information for them. Be responsive and prepared to answer questions, or offer to provide additional information as a follow-up. And if you haven't done so before, invite them to meet you in the district and see your work first hand!
5. Follow-Up After Your Visit: Always send legislators a thank you note after your meeting Groundwork will even provide you with thank you notes for the event! A simple thank you goes a long way. Stay in contact with your legislators and their aides. Put them on your mailing list, invite them to your meetings and events