How You Can Make a Difference
A Person of Influence
Persons of influence are individuals who have the ability to help the chapter improve the lives of people with MS. They might include elected officials, legislative staff members, a private sector employee, a person who works or volunteers for a like-minded organization (ex: an organization that offers services for those with disabilities), or individuals in the private sector. If you are not certain whether an individual is someone the chapter may want to build a relationship with, contact Aaron Ward, Upstate New York Chapter Advocacy and Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-464-0910.
MS Activism Network
The MS Activism Network is an email based network that allows people to advocate for issues important to people with MS. You will receive calls to action asking you to support or oppose specific legislation and policies that impact people living with MS. The call to action is a pre-filled email to your legislator that addresses the issue and explains the Society’s position. The time commitment is minimal; approximately five minutes a month.
Government Relations Committee
The Government Relations Committee (GRC) is the chapter’s volunteer committee dedicated to taking action on matters relating to public policy. The committee meets 4-5 times per year and is responsible for gathering information about issues important to people with MS and their families, setting the public policy state and local agenda, obtaining knowledge of political process, identifying key political players, building a network to respond to public policy issues of importance, and having a reputation as an independent source of unbiased information. Volunteer responsibilities include attending Public Policy Conferences, providing testimony at state and local hearings, meeting with legislators, making phone calls or sending emails or letters about important legislation to lawmakers and executives, and representing the chapter at press conferences. The time commitment varies during the year, but is typically a few hours a month.
Who Do You Know? Grasstops:
A close, personal connection with a local official, a state or federal legislator or official, an individual serving at a key government agency, or an influential staff person for any of the above figures.
A promising to significant connection. Not merely a casual acquaintance and rather a connection that already is or has a realistic opportunity to become significant. They might be family, friends, neighbors, professional colleagues, or political contacts.
- A relationship which you feel comfortable facilitating an introduction with Society staff.
Government Relations Committee
Collective of highly engaged and influential volunteers who exemplify that “we are activists”.
- Members of the committee identify, evaluate and prioritize public policy issues, conduct policy research, establish and nurture relationships with legislators and other policy officials, determine legislative strategies and tactics, and recruit, train and engage volunteers for MS activism.
Join a Government Relations Committee
Additional Federal Advocacy Information
Activism Success Stories
Meet an MS Activist
Follow the “I’m an MS Activist Blog”
Join the Action Alert Network
Take the 2013 MS Activist Survey
Download the MS Activist Toolkit
Congressional Multiple Sclerosis Caucus
Fiscal Year 2014 Appropriations
The Affordable Care Act FAQs and Resources
People Living With MS: Impacted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Position Papers and Policies
Support MS Research
Click here to join NARCOMS global registry