Healthy Start and the Jacksonville Kids Coalition partnered again this year for their fourth annual Advocacy Training on Monday, Dec. 12. Held each year just prior to legislative session, the training aims to educate attendees on advocacy basics and equip them with strategies and tactics to advocate on behalf of children. Over 40 people attended the training, including staff and board members from local child-serving agencies as well as local child advocates.
The training was facilitated by Mr. Mike Hightower, Vice President, Governmental & Legislative Affairs, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of FL. Mr. Mike Hightower, an experienced BCBS FL lobbyist, spoke about advocacy basics and advocacy vs. lobbying.
Dr. Stephen Baker follwed, addressing the complicated yet important question, “Why Should we Care about Redistricting?” To learn more on the topic, read Dr. Baker’s recently published editorial in Folio Weekly.
The training wrapped up with four round table discussions. The discussions featured PeDro Cohen, Executive Director of the New Town Success Zone and Peggy Wade, New Town resident, speaking on “Grassroots Advocacy”; Melanie Lawson, Reporter/Anchor WJXT Channel 4, addressing “Getting your Message to the Media”; Linda Asay, J.D., Healthy Start Coalition Chair and Rev. Tom Rodgers, Healthy Start Coalition board member, addressing “Board Engagement”; and Florida Senator Stephen R. Wise, District 5, covering “Communicating with your Legislator.”
A special thanks to all of our presenters and the Early Learning Coalition of Duval for hosting the event.