Alzheimer's Congressional Team (ACT) Member, California District 29
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Alzheimer’s Congressional Team (ACT)
Member Roles & Responsibilities
Revised: May 2018
The role of ACT members is to help raise their elected officials’ understanding of Alzheimer’s disease as a pressing public health issue that requires their attention, and to persuade those officials to support the Alzheimer’s Association’s public policy goals.
To do this, ACT members work with their fellow team members and Association staff to build relationships with and to educate their Member of Congress, state legislators and local elected officials. Volunteers strategize, plan, organize and participate in a wide range of activities to engage these elected representatives, including private meetings with elected officials and their staff; writing letters to the editor encouraging officials to act or thanking them for acting; and persuading their elected officials to participate in events that we organize, such as Coffees with Congress, community forums and the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
ACT members commit to:
- Serve a one-year term, renewable upon member interest, at the Association’s discretion. Throughout the year, they should expect to spend 2-4 hours per month working in this role.
- Ensure that all their communications with their assigned Congressional office and all other elected officials are fully in alignment with Chapter and National policy priorities and strategies, and are conducted according to the highest ethical standards.
- Work exclusively with and through the Alzheimer’s Association on Alzheimer’s policy so long as they elect to serve in this voluntary role.
- Report all their interactions with their assigned legislators via our online reporting system at www.alzimpact.org.
ACT members can serve "at large," with no defined responsibilities, or they can volunteer for one of their team’s specific roles or projects. Every team is working on different projects, but some of the roles and projects that advocacy volunteers can work on include:
- Ambassador. The person in this position is the Association’s designated spokesperson to the Member of Congress’ local office; this position is by invitation only. See the Ambassador job description for more information.
- Team Leader / Co-Chair. While we strongly prefer Ambassadors who can handle both the Spokesperson and Team Leader roles, some Teams may find it necessary to split these roles between two people who can serve as Team co-leaders. In this case, the Team Leader/Co-Chair will be the person who is responsible for welcoming and helping to orient new Team members, and communicating regularly with Team members to give them the information they need to participate in the team’s activities to their fullest potential.
- Alzheimer’s State Champion. In addition to their Member of Congress, each ACT member also has one State Assemblyperson and one State Senator. (You can find out who your state legislators are by going to http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov for California or http://mapserve1.leg.state.nv.us/whoRU for Nevada, and entering your address.) Each Team should designate one Alzheimer’s State Champion for each state legislative district within the Congressional district, to be the Association’s designated spokesperson to the state legislator’s local office.
- AIM-Advocacy Chair for your local Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Teams in Congressional Districts that host a local Walk to End Alzheimer’s should have a Team member participate in the monthly meetings of the Walk Planning Committee. AIM-Advocacy Chairs work with the Walk Manager and Chair to plan Advocate recruitment on Walk day and throughout the year. AIM-Advocacy Chairs also recruit new AIM members from within the Walk Committee, and share important updates in Alzheimer’s policy at Committee meetings and wraparound events.
- Social Media. If you are a frequent user of any social media platform, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you can amplify your Team’s message by sharing and interacting about Alzheimer’s policy issues with your Member of Congress on social media. On Twitter, be sure to always tag @AlzNorCalNorNev, and use hashtag #ENDALZ.
- Writer. If you’re a good writer, you can amplify your Team’s impact by developing sample Letters to the Editor and opinion pieces and inviting your team members and (when appropriate) Member of Congress to personalize and submit to local papers.
In addition to the roles above, all ACT members are asked to help support a variety of Team activities during the course of the year. Typical activities include:
- Attending Annual Policy Retreat. Team Members are encouraged to attend our Chapter’s annual day-long Policy Retreat in their state. The Policy Retreat provides an opportunity to do a "deep dive" on state and national policy with state and national staff, and to work with peers on building your skills to improve your effectiveness as an advocate.
- Quarterly in-person team meetings with your local Congressional office. Ambassadors are responsible for scheduling these meetings and inviting their ACT members. Staff will help new ACT members prepare for these meetings by providing background materials, a suggested agenda and talking points.
- Submitting a letter to the editor of your local paper. Your Team Writer will provide templates that you can personalize and send.
- Attending community events and interacting with your Member of Congress. Attending in-person or telephone town halls or other events where the Member of Congress is present and asking a question or talking with your Member about Alzheimer’s policy.
- Becoming a member of the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement, the Advocacy arm of the Association. AIM works in strategic alignment with the Alzheimer’s Association to advance our federal policy priorities in Washington. As a 501c4 organization, AIM engage politically with members of Congress and candidates in ways the Association cannot. Our recent research funding breakthroughs would not have been possible without AIM! Membership is $20 per year and all ACT members are highly encouraged to join. Visit alzimpact.org to become a member.
- Attending National Advocacy Forum. ACT members are encouraged to attend the Alzheimer’s Association Advocacy Forum held each spring in Washington, DC. Limited financial assistance is available to help defray travel costs.
- Participating in meetings to learn about policy and plan advocacy activities. ACT members meet once a year to develop a one-year plan for educating and engaging their Member of Congress. ACT members are also encouraged, but not required, to participate in regional Policy Committee meetings (which are either quarterly or every other month, depending on the region), which provide an opportunity to learn more about our policy priorities and share information with other Congressional teams in your area.
- Participating in state policy opportunities. Team members are encouraged to participate in state policy activities, including our annual State Advocacy Day at the State Capitol.
To avoid conflicts of interest, ACT members must not use their position to:
- Market any products, whether they have a financial interest in them or not, to their assigned legislator, legislative staff, or members of their Regional Policy Committee.
- Conduct advocacy for any other organization’s policy priorities.
We will be with you every step of the way to provide training, support and guidance as to how best to establish and maintain a good relationship with your legislators.
No experience is needed - just a small amount of your time!
We'll work with your schedule.
San Fernando ValleyVan Nuys, CA 91401
- People 55+
- TBD depending on role; 3-10 hrs/ mos.