Advocacy is about convincing a political, business or social leader or organization to take a desired course of action. There are many methods and tools of advocacy such as writing letters, meeting and calling your elected officials, writing and delivering testimony at public hearings in Annapolis, for example with our UU Legislative Ministry of Maryland (UULMMD). UU's also have the opportunity to advocate nationally through UUA-affiliated organizations such as the UUA's Side With Love and the join UUA-UU Service Commitee (UUSC) Love Resists campaign as well as with the UU's for Social Justice (UUSJ). We can advance human rights worldwide by supporting the work of the UU Service Committee and the UUA United Nations Office (UU-UNO). These organizations help us to advocate for policies that are consonant with our UU principles.
MD Legislative Issues - MD General Assembly 2022
On January 12, 2022, the Maryland General Assembly will convene in Annapolis to consider legislation including bills of interest to UU's. The UU Legislative Ministry of Maryland (UULMMD) encourages UU's throughout the state to support and advocate for these bills. We have included a brief guide explaining how to advocate with legislators during the pandemic.
Tips in a brief guide about virtual meetings with legislators, constructing messages, signing up for alerts, learning about issues. The Guide is entitled Making "Good Trouble" -- A Guide to UU Advocacy 2022 version 7.0, a pdf file.
We have also posted here a Microsoft Powerpoint slide show describing the roles and tasks of a UU legislative advocate entitled "What is a UU Advocate?"
Policy areas that you are encouraged to advocate for during the 2022 session are:
Tracking Legislation During the Session
You can track the status of bills via the General Assembly's website: MGALEG.
You can set up a MyMGA Account and receive alerts as bills move through the legislative process.
Learn how to set up a MyMGA Account.
Advocate but Remain Non-Partisan: What We Can and Cannot Do
The UUA reminds us that we can:
Engage in issue advocacy and organizing for justice
Conduct voter education
Assist voter access through voter registration
Get Out the Vote drives
Combat voter suppression
Support or oppose ballot initiatives
Educate candidates on issues
Sponsor candidate forums
Prepare and distribute non-partisan voter guides
Lobby elected officials
Host a variety of activities at our congregations
And we cannot:
Have advocacy as our only activity
Endorse or oppose candidates running for elected office
Intervene in campaigns to influence the outcome of an election
If all we do is advocacy, we're not a church. I think we're safe. We pray. We meditate. We sing. We learn. We help each other and our neighbors in need. We laugh together. We comfort each other. And we occasionally ask our elected officials to act on our values.