How to Advocate

Advocacy versus Lobbying

Advocacy covers a range of activities which includes contact with people with influence on public policy and funding of those laws. Advocacy serves to educate lawmakers and policy-makers about issues. For the Missouri Academy, this means speaking out on behalf of our members, and asking our members to help in carrying out our mission.

Advocacy should not be confused with lobbying. Lobbying, as defined by the IRS, involves attempts to influence specific legislation at the local, state, or federal level. Direct lobbying includes in person meetings, telephone calls, letter writing, or emailing a lawmaker or their staff.

MOAND both advocates and lobbies for policies that benefit our members and the health of all Missourians. 

Ways to Get Involved

1.    Stay informed of the issues – you are the nutrition expert!

2.    Read policy articles in The Advocate newsletter. Get informed on the nutrition policies being discussed on local,state, and national levels

3.    Stay aware of current health issues in your state and nationally by reading a major metropolitan newspaperdaily

4.    Know your local officials and the issues by participating in: local health fairs, city council meetings, local boardof health meetings, write to and call your policy makers, go to the state capital and meet yourrepresentatives. 

5.    Position the RD as the expert. Find ways to work with business groups or companies to advise them of thevalues of sound food, nutrition, and health habits.

6.    Donate to ANDPAC and MOPAC


 Advocacy in a Nutshell

 WHO are your legislators:

    -www.openstates.org type in your address and it will show the names of your state senator and representative and their districts.

    -Follow their website or social media pages.  Learn what bills or issues are important to them.

 HOW to contact:

    -Call or email their office; often you may reach an aide.

    -Schedule an appointment.

    -Attend a local event they are attending.

    -Send an Action Alert through the Academy website!

 WHAT to say:

    -State your name, purpose, company/organization, and specify if you are a constituent.

    -If requesting a meeting, identify the issue or topic for discussion.

    -Prepare examples. How has your work as a registered dietitian helped to make Americans healthier?  What programs have been a benefit?  How do these relate to relevant legislation?

 WHY is this important to Registered Dietitians?

    -Promote RDs as the nutrition experts and help legislators recognize RDs as valuable resources.

    -Protecting our licenses and scope of practice.  Expand responsibilities and role of RDs.

    -Support funding or policy change that can improve the healthcare process or expand healthy food resources and nutrition programs.

Please visit https://www.eatrightpro.org/advocacy/action-center/local-advocacy for more public policy tips!