Movers, Shakers & Action-Takers

2014-11-04 07.03.02

This is a guest post by Beth Boram, of Compass Housing Alliance.

Advocacy shouldn’t be like taking medicine. This was the opening message in HDC’s program, “Movers, Shakers, and Action-Takers”, to introduce its 2015 Advocacy Agenda. The program lived up to that directive, as HDC took that message to heart by creating a program that educated, informed, and got people involved.

The 2015 Advocacy Agenda focuses on a breadth of issues both locally and state-wide: Linkage Fees, Comprehensive Plan Updates, ARCH Housing Trust Fund, King County Housing Bonds, Protecting Essential Services, and Legal Protection against Source of Income Discrimination. This range of issues speaks to how well organized the housing community has become in creating a housing agenda, and what an important moment it is for us as housing advocates.

2014-11-04 08.55.23We have reached the time when we know that we need many tools to increase the housing options for people who are low income and homeless – tools that work directly against discrimination – those that work directly with the private market to create more housing and those that create additional resources for nonprofit developers. We need varied approaches to increase housing and all of them are needed as housing resources are changing and rents are quickly rising. The HDC 2015 Advocacy Agenda speaks to the many housing barriers that low income people face and provides the right tools that are needed to address those barriers

Some of these agenda items are controversial, such as the Linkage Fee, and all will require strong consistent dialogue and advocacy. The November 3rd program also included some words of wisdom from Dr. Michael Shadow on effective communication. As advocates he suggested that we first find the common values that we share with the people with whom we are advocating.

“You are not a Powerpoint on two legs…When we’re advocating we have to spend time advocating for our audience.  Your job is to make it come alive.”  – Dr. Michael Shadow, Shadow and Associates, Inc.

If our dialogue is grounded in common values, we will be better advocates. So let’s go out and engage our lawmakers and fellow citizen on this Advocacy Agenda and find ways to find common ground as we communicate how to make our communities more inclusive for people of all incomes.

If you missed this event, be sure to fill out your 2015 HDC Advocacy Commitment Form here, check out the communications resources provided by Dr. Michael Shadow and Michael Anderson here, and register now for HDC’s Annual Meeting on December 11th here, where the 2015 Advocacy Priorities will be adopted.