Often youth and their families know best what they need and how to make services work for them. That’s why it’s so important for the leaders who make the policies that impact these youth and their families hear from them during the lawmaking process.
Every other year during the Texas Legislative Session, TNOYS organizes Youth in Action Capitol Day, where hundreds of youth and their adult partners from across the state come to the State Capitol to advocate on issues important to them. This toolkit was created to provide guidance to youth participants in Capitol Day, and can be helpful to any young people working to effect change at the local, state, or federal levels.
These real-life examples of youth affecting change on important issues in their communities can provide encouragement and guidance for young people getting started on their advocacy efforts.
Lobbying is a critical part of the lawmaking process, but there is a lot of confusion and many misconceptions surrounding the term. This document helps youth better understand what lobbying is and how to do it.
During Capitol Day, youth form groups and give presentations on policy issues. This document provides guidance on how to choose issues and solutions to discuss, and how to create compelling presentations about them. It can also be useful for any youth looking for guidance on how to identify and discuss important policy issues.
If it’s possible to arrange one, an in-person meeting can be one of the best ways to advocate for an issue. These documents provide guidance on how to prepare for and handle meetings with legislators and other public officials.
This document provides guidance on how to follow up on meetings or other interactions with decision-makers, and describes how it can be very helpful for prompting action on a cause.