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We can’t wait to see you again in 2017!

Questions? Contact Legislative Chair: Terri Apostolou (terri32rdh@gmail.com)

 

What is a Lobby Day?

Lobby Day or Advocacy Day is when non-governmental organizations select days, usually annually, for members to meet palpitations or public servants at various levels to advocate for policy that supports the profession of dental hygiene. It can be an effective way of letting officials know the views of dental hygienists’ through a personal meeting, or lobbying.

Lobbying is a way to provide elected officials information they may need to make the best decisions for their constituencies. When a group of people from an elected official’s district requests a meeting regarding a particular issue, the elected official wants to hear their point of view. Most elected officials want to make sure that they understand the consequences and benefits of any particular piece of legislation on their constituency. Because lobbying can be so valuable in getting an organization’s view known, a lobby day can be very beneficial.

Between lobby days make sure you are connected to your district Senator and Representative. If you need help locating your Senator or Representative here is a link to help you find who you should be talking with. http://il–nea.capwiz.com/nea/il/directory/statedir.tt?state

Would you like talking points when visiting your Senator or Representive? Contact Kimberly Benkert at kbenkert@sbcglobal.net.

 

 

One Student’s View of Lobby Day 2014

Many students from Southern Illinois University attended lobby day in Springfield this March. Here are thoughts from one of the students:

Lobby Day was a great learning experience for our class. It showed me how devoted and hard working the IDHA is when trying to expand dental hygiene and create more opportunities for dental hygienists. At first, Lobby Day was overwhelming because of the large amounts of people and the process of trying to find the offices of the representatives and senators. Splitting up into groups and meeting new people involved with dental hygiene was very exciting and beneficial. I had the opportunity to meet and participate with three registered dental hygienists who were extremely devoted and supportive of the collaborative practice bill. I gained a stronger knowledge about collaborative practice along with stories and experiences about each of their dental hygiene careers. They were really helpful and enjoyed including us during the Lobby Day. Patti DiGangi, one of our group members, gave each one of us students her business card and told us to contact her if we ever needed help or advice in our futures with dental hygiene.

We started lobbying by going to each one of our senators. We were only able to speak to one or two directly, but left messages and information about our bill with their secretaries. I felt like we left a great impression and was able to inform our main points about the bill. We put all of our focus on the collaborative practice bill into the small amount of time we had with each senator. After visiting all of our senators’ offices then we headed to talk to our representatives. We were unable to talk directly to any of our representatives due to the budget hearing, but we were able to talk to the secretaries and leave them with the information.

The most interesting and powerful learning experience of lobby day to me was the committee hearing. It was very eye-opening to see how a committee hearing functioned and how our bills were purposed and debated. It was also shocking to see how little some of the members knew about each of the bills and helped me realize how important it was for us to lobby and educate them before the hearing. Overall, lobby day was an awesome learning experience and made me appreciate how much the IDHA does in support of dental hygienists.

Haley Bowles

Junior DH student, SIU