Affinity Groups are taking off! Celebrate the winner of AESA 2017 Congressional Service Award. More!
News and updates from AESA 
October 3, 2017
In this issue:

  • It's a great time to join an Affinity Group.
  • Find a recap of the Annual Educator Call to Action Conference. (Plus, we have included tips for Federal Advocacy gathered from two days with our legislative liaisons.)
  • businesspartnerThe Business Partner Connection: Meet MindShine, a K12 software development company and AESA's newest Business Partner.
The Educators Call to Action Conference Amplifies Our Members' Voices in D.C.
At Wednesday's Pre-Conference AESA's legislative liaisons, Noelle Ellerson Ng and Leslie Finnan, helped attendees hone their thinking and skills about effective advocacy efforts. 

Thursday and Friday provided half-days of legislative updates.  Thursday was reserved for appointments with legislators in their D.C. offices. The new conference location at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill made the visits much more convenient.

On Friday, in addition to education sessions, AESA recognized Senator Jack Reed, Rhode Island, for his support of education. And, of course, we networked and learned from each other.  In the article below, we share a few of the tips we learned about effective advocacy.

Thank you to everyone who attended!
Featured in the photos: Top, left : Group shown standing are the members of the 2017-18 Executives in Residence program. Top, right: Members tune-in on Federal legislative issues. Bottom: Joan Wade, AESA Executive Director , Donna Ottaviano, Executive Director of the East Bay Collaborative, Senator Jack Reed, and Rosemarie Kraeger. Superintendent of Middletown School Department in Middletown, RI. 
Advocacy Tips

At the ECA pre-conference AESA legislative liaisons, Noelle Ellerson Ng and Leslie Finnan, offered several tips to help prepare people for their advocacy efforts. 

Effective advocacy is relationship-based; trust-based, meaning honest, accurate, and credible; knowledge-based; and constituent-based. 
  • Advocacy is not a one-time thing. It's ongoing. They recommend keeping in contact with legislators on an ongoing basis, instead of just when major issues are breaking.
  • If you promise information, be sure to follow-up.
  • Clearly state your points when you email or talk to your legislators. You will need to do your homework and be prepared to state your points.
  • Keep a level head. Try to truly listen and understand their viewpoints, too. Then consider, how can your message fit into their priorities?
  • Invite your elected officials to your schools. There is no better way to tell the school story than to let them see education in action.
  • Share stories about the districts that you serve; tell some stories or anecdotes that put faces with the numbers.
  • Trust is important. Don't pretend you know something if you don't - but do follow-up with information from someone in your organization who does know the answers to their questions.
  • Thank them for their time.
They reminded us that in the end, this is a relationship. 

Need help with your advocacy efforts?

AESA's legislative liaisons contact information:

Noelle Ellerson Ng | 703-774-6935 | | @noellerson

Leslie Finnan | 703-203-3105 | | @lesliefinnan

The Business Partner Connection:
 We welcome MindShine as AESA's newest Business Partner

MindShine specializes in K12 software development, working with education service agencies, school districts and K12 Ed-tech companies: All K12, all the time.


Newest Affinity Group: Visible Leadership
AESA Presents 

AESA 2017 Congressional Award was presented on September 29, 2017 to  Senator Jack Reed, Rhode Island.

Thank you for your service and leadership Senator Reed.

Association of Educational Service Agencies  |