Policymakers can tap into two kinds of coalitions to drive a winning policy campaign. (1) An outside coalition of organizations led by one or more interest groups most closely tied to the outcome of your campaign. You will work directly with the lead organization for that coalition, sharing information, planning events, and positioning your issue favorably with leadership. And (2) an inside coalition of fellow policymakers who are willing to coalesce around this issue. This inside coalition may require more work from you because it may require you to initiate “Dear Colleague” letters of support, to host issue briefings, and to tap into the existing caucus structure if one exists, and securing a caucus endorsement for your policy proposal. For example, caucuses for the following types of legislative caucuses might be good allies: women and children, mental health, Black and Latino, school health, etc. Here are sample sign-on letters for restricting youth access to supplements and reducing digitally altered ads.
As a policymaker, you know that your colleagues are going to ask you about the organizations that support this effort. Don’t be afraid to let your lead interest group know what kinds of coalition representation might matter most to your colleagues – and encourage them to recruit such organizations. A powerful coalition list is one that anticipates and answers the toughest questions about your policy proposal. See below for a few examples.
A few examples of how a powerful coalition list anticipates and answers the toughest questions about your policy proposal
- Legislation to keep so-called “body-building” supplements out of the hands of kids will be more persuasive if the coalition includes representation from youth sports organizations, coaches, athletic trainers, etc.
- Legislation to keep diet pills out of the hands of kids will be more persuasive if supported by youth-led organizations such as student government, scouting groups, civic organizations, youth empowerment groups, and others to demonstrate peer-to-peer youth support and leadership.
- Legislation to provide incentives to businesses that do not use digital distortion in advertising and imagery, would seem more credible if supported by actors, models, photographers, and members of the communities whose images are most often distorted such as Black/African-American people, women and girls, and older people.
Check out the STRIPED Policy & Advocacy Campaigns page for customizable fact sheets, talking points, and newsletter articles on our model legislation, including their relevant message points for your communications to other policymakers, the media, and public agencies.