Even if you only have a few minutes today, you can be an MS activist. Start by getting informed – join the MS Activist Network so MS advocacy news and opportunities to take action will come to you. If you have a little more time, find out about your public officials, become a digital MS activist and prepare your story for sharing. If you’re ready for a commitment, build relationships with your officials, recruit other MS activists and help educate the media about MS issues.
The surest indicator and best tool of an MS activist is information. We will arm you with what you need to fully understand activism and the issues. Here's a brochure about Federal Advocacy (please read and share it!).
Sign up to be part of the MS Activist Network. You’ll receive:
Action Alerts: We’ll email you an MS Action Alert when an important issue or piece of legislation calls for your immediate attention. With a few easy clicks, you can send emails to your public officials about why these issues are important to you
Our e-newsletter the Federal Focus will keep you informed on the progress of federal policy that impacts people with MS and their families.
- Learn about issues important to the MS community. Read about what policy issues are important right now and the Society's stance on them.
- Seek out and connect with (Follow, Friend and Like) your local, state or regional, and national Society presences:
- Find out about your public officials (make a list! Federal and State ) and start a relationship.
Become a digital activist. Online and interactive (social) media is the newest way to establish and maintain relationships with your elected officials. Read more and learn how!
You are the credible expert about the effects of multiple sclerosis in your life. And, none of us are immune from the uninvited or unexpected. Share your story online, and practice sharing it in two minutes or less. How can you make your story relevant to your public officials, the media or others? Read and comment on others' activism stories on our blog, and use our Self-Advocacy Guide (pdf) and Worksheet (pdf) when thinking through your story.
The role of elected officials is to represent the needs of their communities. MS activists must connect with them, share the stories of MS and communicate their needs. If given the opportunity to speak with an elected official, be brief and direct: what is multiple sclerosis, how has it impacted you and how would a policy change enhance or hinder your quality of life until we end MS forever. Couple your personal, real life experiences with facts like the financial impact of MS to explain the issue or opportunity.
- Write, email (sample letter) or call
- Schedule a meeting - you don’t have to go to Washington, D.C. Every member of Congress has one or more offices in their local district. Make an appointment or just stop by. Click here for advice to prepare for an in district meeting. If you’ve had a meeting, we’d love to hear about it. Let us know who you met with, the issue you discussed, and how they responded.
Attend a Town Hall Meeting - Members of Congress hold regular town hall meetings or listening sessions with constituents in their districts. Usually these are held during Congressional recess. Call your legislator’s district office and ask about upcoming town hall meetings. Before attending a meeting, write out the question(s) you want to ask. If you want to talk through an MS issue, call your local advocacy staff. If you attend a meeting, we’d love to hear about it.
- A letter to the editor is an easy way to share your story about how multiple sclerosis has affected your life with the public and call for action. Write a persuasive letter, be thoughtful and polite. Be sure to ask for the action you want. And be brief. Editors are mostly likely to publish a letter no longer than 150-250 words. Remember to include your full name and address.
- Write out what you want to say before you call your local talk radio. Then keep dialing until you get through. When you do, share your story about how multiple sclerosis has affected your life and be positive. Be clear and concise about the point you want to make. Don’t engage in argument. Say what you want to say, then say "thank you for listening" and hang up.