grassroots leaders advancing the interests of women with ovarian cancer
Welcome to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance Grasstops Advocacy Program! Our Grasstops are an elite group of trained advocates who will become leaders in advancing the interest of women with ovarian cancer at the local, state and federal levels. In the program’s inaugural year our Grasstops have raised awareness through news articles and advertisements, developed relationships with their elected officials and fought for increased funding for ovarian cancer research.
How the program works: Individuals will receive training through webinars and written materials with the goals of 1) explaining the basics of effective advocacy 2) helping advocates get comfortable communicating with elected officials and their staff and 3) increasing advocates’ understanding of legislative issues important to the ovarian cancer community. Following training, the Alliance will periodically issue “calls to action.” These emails will provide instructions and support for trained advocates to carry out specific tasks, such as meeting with the staff of their elected officials to discuss pending legislation or request co-sponsorship. Unexpected legislative crises (such as a vote or impending deadline for signing a letter) may require Grasstops to take action on issues quickly by calling or emailing their elected officials.
Organization of Program: The Alliance will provide opportunities for advocates to make visits, call or email their elected officials, as appropriate. Advocates can work independently and, over time, will begin to coordinate efforts with other advocates in their district and state to form a network of like-minded grassroots volunteers. Advocates are asked to follow up with the Alliance to report outcomes of their interactions with their elected officials.
Duties of advocates: Grasstops will act to advance the interests of women with ovarian cancer by:
- Contacting and building relationships with their elected officials and elected officials’ staff
- Sending out calls to action in their community
- Serving as a “whip” to follow up with offices who have failed to fulfill Grasstops’ requests
- Working with the Alliance to organize local meetings
- Expanding the network of local advocates to increase the ovarian cancer community’s advocacy presence in a particular state or district