“Perfection is not required for advocacy"

March 29, 2024
by Yolanda Gordon, Manager, Expansion and Advocacy

“Advocacy is empathy, compassion, and community at work.” Janna Cachola 

Advocacy means backing a cause or policy. Advocates drive change with passion, not just expertise. Their impact is truly immeasurable. Everyday citizens’ passion can better the world. Advocates remain crucial as long as injustice persists. 

Here at RESULTS, I lead the Organizing and Advocacy Fellowship program for emerging leaders. This month, four fellows joined my office hours. They’re dedicated and passionate. They expressed concerns about needing expertise and perfection. But that’s not necessary. Advocates shine with their palpable passion in every meeting. Sharing talking points is easy for anyone. Imagine a single mom who traveled with her kids. Her input on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is crucial and offers perspective. Hers is the most valuable expertise, because she has first-hand experience with the impact of SNAP policy. Putting a face to a program is impactful. A tuberculosis survivor sharing their recovery journey is moving. They invite lawmakers into their recovery room emotionally. Stories stick in our minds 22 times better than facts. Passion leaves an unforgettable impression every time.  

RESULTS advocates excel by infusing compassion into politics. Specialists analyze policies meticulously, emphasizing data-driven approaches. Their impact is subtle. Approach lobby meetings confidently, admitting uncertainties openly. Your impact is immense. Maintain open communication channels for relationship-building. “I don’t know, but I will find out” is acceptable. 

Perfection isn’t needed to advocate. Empathy, patience, and passion are key. Trust yourself and follow your instincts.

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