February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 23

advocacy update

By Joel Pannell

Preparing for the
National Legislative Forum

N

ext month, the parks and recreation movement takes center stage

Istock / BonoTom

in our nation's capital with the convening of the National Legislative
Forum on Parks and Recreation on March 16-19, 2010. The Forum,
hosted annually by the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA),
provides a tremendous opportunity for professionals and citizens from across
the country to come together on Capitol Hill and collectively voice the vital
role that parks and recreation plays in building healthy, livable, and sustainable communities.

At NRPA's Urban Summit in September David
Agnew, the White House Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, stated that the President's
Administration understands the value of parks and
recreation but the audience that needs convincing
is the Members of the United States Congress. In
March, attendees of the Legislative Forum will have
the ability to do just that as they meet face to face
with their Congressional representatives and make
the case for federal support of state and local public
parks and recreation.
As the 111th Congress embarks on its second
session it is imperative that we come together and
advocate for federal investment in public parks and
recreation. We know that parks and recreation plays
an integral part in addressing the many problems
our nation faces by creating jobs, combating childhood obesity, increasing physical activity for people
of all ages, reducing juvenile delinquency, reducing
energy consumption, and fostering environmental
protection and education.
Due to current economic conditions, many agencies and individuals are confronting limited travel budgets but this year's Legislative Forum is an
opportunity you simply cannot afford to miss. Now,
more than ever, is time to seize the moment and
help shape the future of parks and recreation by
delivering a strong message to Congress and the
policy makers in Washington, D.C.
Once you register for this year's Legislative Forum the next step will be to prime yourself in order
to make the most out of your trip to D.C. While NRPA
staff will host multiple training and educational

	

sessions during the forum, preparation should begin now in order to fully and effectively communicate to federal legislators that investment in parks
and recreation infrastructure and programs is a necessity at the local, state, and national levels.
Below is a list of things you can do to make the
take full advantage of your visit to Capitol Hill:

Plan your Visit Carefully
■■  Contact your state association today and let them
know you are attending the Legislative Forum and
would like to meet with your Members of Congress.
To find your Senator or Member of Congress call
the Capitol Switchboard at (202)224-3121 or by visit
http://capwiz.com/nrpa/home/. Your state association will set up the meeting for you.
■■  When meeting with your Senator or Congressmen
small groups are generally best. Once you know
who will attend your meetings with you decide in
advance who will say what, and be sure to cover
your key points early.
■■  Meetings with legislators and/or staff typically
only last 15-30 minutes so be prepared to communicate your objectives clearly and concisely. Determine in advance if your legislator has particular
influence in certain issues through committee assignments, or has a personal interest in issues such
as conservation or physical activity. Construct your
messaging to focus on the issues that are important
to the legislator.
■■  Remember to begin and end by focusing on the
specific action you'd like you legislator to take. You
Continued on page 22

www.NRPA .ORG

February 2010

Parks & Recreation	

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February 2010 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of February 2010 - Parks & Recreation

February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 1
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 2
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 3
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 4
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 5
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February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 77
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2021
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2020
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2019
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2019
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