Advocacy is a powerful opportunity for us to engage decision makers from a faith-based perspective and to show love for our neighbor in a tangible way. There are many ways to do advocacy work, including writing letters to members of Congress, visiting congressional offices, and using social media as an advocacy tool. Here are some tips:
Biblical basis for advocacy:
Scripture has much to say about how we are to interact with governments. When we as Anabaptists engage with governing officials, we should do so out of our lived witness as a church. When we are actively engaging issues of justice such as poverty and race in our churches, we quickly realize that these are deeply systemic issues which need to be addressed—not just at the personal or congregational level, but also at the societal level through more just policies. This gives our witness to government both integrity and humility.
Meeting with your members of Congress:
Visiting a legislator's office, either locally or in Washington D.C., is the most effective way for a citizen to do advocacy. Congressional recesses are an excellent time to meet locally with your legislator (see the recess schedule for the House and the Senate).
Contacting members of Congress:
Phone calls and emails are also excellent means to educate and persuade your member of Congress. Emails are good ways to ensure timely delivery of your views while providing a written record of your communication.
Getting your message out (social media, letters to the editor, town halls):
Use your social media accounts to talk to your members of Congress. Let them act as educational and motivational tools to affect the way Congress makes policy in relation to the issues you are concerned about. Write an effective letter to the editor. Attend a town hall meeting.
How a bill becomes a law:
If a bill has passed in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and has been approved by the President, or if a presidential veto has been overridden, the bill becomes a law and is enforced by the government.