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How to Advocate for Change in the State of Georgia

Looking to make a difference in your community? Want to advocate for change but not exactly sure where to start? Or, maybe you have already started a grassroots effort, and want to make sure you stay on track?

You have come to the right place! Welcome to Science for Georgia's guide to making a science-based change in your community! We have a lot of experience in helping communities find assistance with environmental and health issues, and the steps here can guide your journey! Read the following for a step-by-step guide to advocating in the State of Georgia.

From left to right, Rep Becky Evans, Amy Sharma (Science for Georgia), Karolina Klinker (Reach Out and Read), Louis Kiphen (Science for Georgia), Randy Gorod (Sci4Ga – holding a photo of Paige Greenwood), and Rep Matt Dubnik.

In an ever-evolving world, where environmental challenges and health concerns continue to impact our lives, relying on evidence-based scientific approaches becomes crucial to ensure the well-being of our communities. With the following step-by-step guide, we aim to empower you with the knowledge and tools needed to advocate effectively for positive, science-backed transformations in the State of Georgia. So, let's get started on this path of meaningful change!

Step 1: It's possible to make change, just form a posse!

This exciting journey begins by asking, "What is it you want to happen?" and then asking, "Who is going to help make it happen?". None of the great leaders, movers and activists of history acted alone. They needed help and you do too. And how can you get help or start working towards that goal without setting a clear purpose? Here is a video introduction to this step!


Identify what is the problem you want to solve. 

First write it down in a single paragraph.

Then take this paragraph and try to boil it down to two sentences.

Now finally, capture it in five words.

This can help you understand the core of your problem and prioritize and communicate it. Without an “elevator pitch” like this, how will you get anyone on your side?


To make your problem stand out in a crowd to get some helping hands you will need to:

Ask yourself who else is directly affected by this problem. Can you motivate them to take action?

Start with the people closest to you, both those in your vicinity and those who you know well. 


Communicate with your core to determine why the problem impacts everyone, which builds a stronger understanding of the issue.

Once this occurs, brainstorm routes to a solution, some examples include; a bill, a resolution, or a community awareness campaign.


To expand your core network, identify additional benefits the chosen solution offers to a greater society. These benefits can include economic growth, population health improvements, empowerment of individuals, etc. These benefits can increase general interest in your solution, ultimately growing your core.

How you fit into the Government

Okay, let's take a step back. If we want to advocate for change, we are going to need a refresher on the systems that the change happens in.

The government in the United States operates on multiple levels, from federal to local. It consists of three branches:

  • Executive (led by the President),
  • Legislative (comprising Congress),
  • and Judicial (headed by the Supreme Court).

Each unit has distinct responsibilities, creating a system of checks and balances to uphold democratic principles. At state and local levels, elected officials play crucial roles, allowing citizens to engage in community decision-making.

What does this mean for constituents who want to advocate for change? Well, it certainly plays a role in HOW you go about making a plan of action and figuring out what a SOLUTION to this problem will look like for your group/community!

Here are some links to some examples that will help you on your journey to identifying a problem and a solution that will work for YOU.

DALL·E 2023-07-06 01.12.32 - The abstract image depicts a dynamic science advocacy meeting with diverse participants engaged in enthusiastic discussions, collaborative projects, a

Pro Tips:

  • Seek input from coworkers/experts, peers, and friends to gauge their interest in joining your cause.
  • To spread the word effectively, utilize various channels such as flyers, workplace announcements, and social media.
  • Engage with like-minded individuals who share your passion for science advocacy. (who might those people be?)

Ok, but really, if you still haven't identified your problem, then complete the tabs below before you move on. You may need to do this multiple times along the advocacy process as you learn more and connect with more stakeholders!

Identifying "The Problem" and it's "Solution"

Identify the "problem" and "solution" and understand their impact on your audience, both positive and negative. Clearly defining the problem helps create a resonant message, while offering a well-defined solution empowers your audience to take action.

Five Words

Step 2: Getting the people who can make change on your side (Legislators).

Okay! Now that you have a clearly defined solution and understand how it can benefit a large group of people, you must involve the people in power. Bring your problem and solution to them, show them who it affects and why, and get them excited to help you with your cause.  

Aside: Even if passing a bill doesn’t turn out to be the right avenue for your cause, legislators can still help. They can connect you with the right people, funders, programs to help with what you need! They know stuff! And anyway if you can talk to them, you can talk to anybody!

Look how triumphant it can be to talk to legislators
Look how triumphant it can be to talk to legislators

Okay, but actually contacting your legislator can be a scary concept. They are in a whole other category! But really they are just regular folk. Most of the year they have some other day job. They are often very personable and they want to impress you, the voter! Its like when spiders are more scared of you than you are of them. They work for you!

Being clear, concise, and actionable in your messaging is crucial for effective advocacy.

  • To grab the attention of busy policymakers amidst a sea of competing issues.
    • A brief message ensures that your core points are comprehended and remembered, avoiding confusion. Moreover, clarity promotes inclusivity, making your advocacy accessible to a broader audience.
  • Clear and actionable messaging fosters trust and professionalism, reducing the risk of misinterpretation.
    • By adhering to these principles, you increase the chances of your message being heard, understood, and acted upon, ultimately driving positive change for your cause.

Read How to Write Your Legislator for  

    • Tips and tricks for successful email, phone, or letter outreach 
    • Information on finding your legislator 

Read Successful Legislator Meeting Checklist Handout for

    • Step by Step instructions on meeting with your local or federal decision-makers.

Step 3: Writing a bill

Once you have a decision maker onboard you need to come up with a concrete solution. Yes, you have a solution – but how is it implemented? What needs to be done? What is legal? What is possible? 

Please don’t write it yourself. Get the decision-makers to do it!

Law vs. resolution 

Legislative Example: 

  • Work with legislators to write that bill


Community Example: 

  • Work with restaurant owners to craft a feasible implementation plan.
  • Work with the principal to figure out regulatory/financial hurdles that must be addressed.

Building consensus among a larger group of stakeholders fosters a sense of ownership and shared responsibility, paving the way for collaborative success and fostering a stronger sense of community and common purpose. Check out this infographic on building consensus among a larger group of stakeholders.


Step 4: Now advocate! Get that bill passed grassroots style!

Now that you have a workable solution, it’s time to get it passed and implemented. To do that, you need broad support. And then you need to get that support to be vocal and urge implementation. 

gather 2
  • How to build a broad coalition of support 
  • Messaging to appeal to general audience – does your message fulfill these criteria? 

Possible Activities

  • Letter writing campaign
  • Day at the Capitol
  • Social media ideas

How a Bill becomes a Law

When someone has an idea for a new law, they write it down and share it with their representatives in Congress. This written idea is called a "bill." The bill then goes through several steps in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Committees in each chamber review the bill, suggest changes, and vote on whether to approve it.

If the bill gets enough support, it goes to the full House and Senate for a vote. If both chambers agree, the bill is sent to the President. The President can either sign it into law or veto it. If the President signs it, the bill becomes a law and is applied to the entire country.

Legislative Example:

  • Get your posse to get a bigger posse to write ALL legislators to pass the bill

Community Example:

  • Work with a posse to get many restaurants on board with food waste resolution programs.


  • Work with the principal to get PTA / school board to fund implementation



Let's apply the SMART method to ensure our goals are practical and actionable. This framework will guide us in crafting Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals.

By utilizing the SMART method, you and your core will create well-defined, measurable goals, within reach, aligned with our mission, and time-bound. This approach will keep us focused, organized, and motivated as we work towards achieving our aspirations.

Activities Planning

As your science advocacy group flourishes, it's time to embark on strategic planning to ignite science advocacy within your local community.

Science for Georgia offers a range of sponsored events to support your efforts, including:

  1. Hosting mock interviews.
  2. Coordinating SciComm Academy at your organization.
  3. Organizing advocacy writing events to raise awareness.

If you're interested in creating your own community activities, consider the following ideas:

Gather your enthusiastic members for a brainstorming session to generate a comprehensive list of objectives, activities, and projects to promote science advocacy and education.

Awareness Campaign

Conduct awareness campaigns that illuminate pressing scientific issues and their societal impact. Utilize creative methods such as social media campaigns, informative posters, or captivating presentations to capture attention.

Guest Speaker

Collaboration and effective planning are crucial for successfully executing your science advocacy initiatives. By working together, sharing responsibilities, and adhering to established timelines, you will bring your vision to life and make a tangible difference.

Seek permission from your local officials or authorities to carry out your planned activities. Approach them with a clear outline of your proposed initiatives, highlighting their educational and/or environmental benefits. Prepare for any concerns or questions you or officials may have and be ready to address them.

Advocacy and Beyond

Here are some tips to keep the momentum of your Core:

  • Follow your established timeline as your roadmap, ensuring each activity and project is launched immediately. Remember, proper planning prevents poor performance.
  • Keep the lines of communication open and active. Regularly update your group members on the progress you're making, share any challenges you encounter, and highlight exciting opportunities that arise along the way.
  • Collect feedback from participants and members about activities and messages to gain valuable insights.
  • Expand your horizons by seeking collaboration with other groups, attending conferences, and participating in science events.

Remember, together, you all possess the power to create a stronger voice for science advocacy. By pooling your collective efforts, you'll foster a movement that resonates with others and drives positive transformation. Embrace the journey and let your passion for science advocacy guide you toward an inspiring future!