Advocacy is Necessary to Achieve Legislative Success
Understanding the purpose of and need for a strong professional advocacy program is the first step in achieving legislative success. It is important to know what role the WI-DHA plays in these efforts and, more importantly, what role you play in this process.
The Legislative Process: This is the process by which laws are made. This is important for the Dental Hygiene profession as it is a legislated profession. This means the dental hygiene scope of practice is determined and defined by legislators and Dental Examining Board. Members of WI-DHA, are advocates for dental hygienists and for the patients they serve.
Advocacy is a major function of the WI-DHA. By being politically active, WI-DHA members demonstrate to their legislators they are committed to advancing profession to better serve patients.
There are three factors needed to move legislative action in Wisconsin:
- Merit (legitimacy of your issue). Explain clearly to legislators what problem exists, who is impacted by it, why it must be fixed and how to fix it.
- Funding. The need for financial support is important to fund the cost of running a political campaign. WI-DHA has a fund specific to dental hygiene related advocacy called WI-HYPAC.
- Membership. There is power in numbers and having many voices speak for a common concern. can be the most effective way to achieve success in the legislature. A constituent or voter from a specific Wisconsin community can help educate and influence legislators for that area more effectively than anyone else. WI-DHA can achieve the level of success it needs with an active, well organized membership.