Shaping a positive future for our veterans, our military and their families.

Legislative

Department of Alaska
Legislative Chairman - 2017-2018
Susan Waldhaus

2017-2018 American Legion Auxiliary Legislative

The Legislative Program and the 2014-2019 Centennial Strategic Plan – While advocating for the legislative agenda of The American Legion, Auxiliary members raise awareness for our mission and increase brand loyalty. (Goal 5)

What is this program, and why do we have it?

The Legislative Program provides information and assistance to American Legion Auxiliary members to advocate for the legislative agenda of The American Legion.

What Can You Do?

Encourage and empower members to be more knowledgeable to take action on The American Legion’s legislative priorities.

Member

  • Subscribe to the Legion’s Legislative Action Alerts to receive notification when they call on all Legion Family members to take immediate action on a topic. Visit www.capwiz.com/legion/mlm/signup to subscribe. Report to your unit chairman when you have done so.

  • Subscribe to the Legion’s Legislative Update to stay informed on veteran and military legislative issues. Report to your unit chairman when you have subscribed.

  • Order a copy of the ALA Legislative Advocacy Guide through your unit or your department headquarters and follow the suggestions it contains to help build legislative awareness in your community. The guide can also be downloaded from www.ALAforVeterans.

  • Visit the Legion’s legislative website, www.legion.org/legislative, to keep current on legislative priorities. The site also contains the Legion’s legislative priority sheets and point papers, available for download.

  • The priority/drop sheets outline the Legion’s priorities and you can “drop” these in your elected official’s office.

  • The point papers provide more information on the issue and the Legion’s position.

  • Actively post The American Legion’s legislative priorities on social media.

  • Identify your U.S. representative and two U.S. senators and build a relationship and rapport with these individuals and/or members of their staff.

  • Subscribe to e-newsletters of your elected officials to monitor what they consider to be their priorities and to make sure that veteran/military and national security issues are among them. Follow them on social media as well. (See each elected official’s website for details how to sign-up and social media links).

  • Connect with other civic organizations to communicate The American Legion’s legislative priorities for potential support and membership opportunities.

  • Attend local informational town hall meetings to become better informed and to network with other community and civic organizations.

  • Attend department and/or legislative meetings and activities.

  • Meet with state- and national-level public officials to discuss issues facing veterans, service members and their families. If possible, attend meetings with other Legion Family members.

  • Remember, we’re putting a face on legislative topics. We can share the human reality on how issues affect veterans, service members and their families.

  • Complete the Legion’s Congressional Meeting Report Form following any meeting with your U.S. representative, U.S. senator and/or their legislative staff members. Viisit www.legion.org/legislative/aar to complete the form.

  • Let your department Legislative chairman or department president know if you have a personal or professional relationship with a U.S. representative and/or U.S. senator that serves on the Veterans Affairs committees or a member of his/her legislative staff and that you’d be willing to participate in the ALA Veterans Affairs Legislative Mini-Council. Each of these members should be willing to contact the representative, senator or staff member when called to action by the Legion on an issue.

Unit

  • Order and distribute the ALA Legislative Advocacy Guide from your department headquarters and distribute to members.

  • Hold a unit meeting to go over the steps outlined by the ALA Legislative Advocacy Guide and discuss the legislative priorities.

  • Invite a staff member of your U.S. representative and/or senator to a unit meeting so he/she can explain the best way to contact the official.

  • Include legislative priorities in unit communications (social media, newsletters).

  • Work with your Legion counterpart to make arrangements for Legion Family members to meet with respective Congressional delegation while on recess and in home districts.

  • Choose a different legislative priority each month and allow time at each unit meeting for members to draft letters and communicate the importance of legislation related to veterans and their families. Watch for Legislative Action Alerts for any pressing priority.

  • Invite your department chairman to a unit meeting to explain how the department initiates legislative advocacy and how each unit can play a role.

  • Work with your Legion Family to host a “Meet the Candidate” night. Make veterans/military issues the primary topic for discussion. (See the How To Sheet for details).


Legislative Reporting

Mid-Year Report - Mid-Year reports reflect the program work of units in the department. UNIT REPORT IS DUE BY DECEMBER 5, 2016

Year-End Reports - Annual reports reflect the program work of units in the department. It is requested that these reports are accompanied by photos of select unit projects. UNIT REPORT IS DUE BY APRIL 15, 2017

As part of your narrative report, please include answers to the following questions:

  • How did you train members in the legislative issues promoted by The American Legion and how did your members employ those methods?

  • What legislative activities (town hall meetings, legislative receptions) did members attend in their communities and departments? What suggestions did members have to improve those activities? Please describe.

  • How did members develop relationships with their elected officials? Please describe.

  • Please describe how members were able to connect with their local and state officials and what were their successes.


Legislative Awards

Each award application must include the cover sheet found in this program Plan. All awards will be announced at National Convention during the Legislative pre-convention meetings.

Unit Award: Unit Legislative Award

Type of Award: Citation

Presented to: One unit in each division (5 overall awards)

Materials and Guidelines:

  • Entries must include the award cover sheet.
  • For the most outstanding overall legislative program in the division.
  • Each entry must be typewritten in narrative form and must tell the story of legislative activism and how it made a difference in the lives of veterans and their families.
  • Include pictures and newspaper articles.
  • Units should submit their entry to their department chairman APRIL 15, 2017 WITH THE ANNUAL REPORT.

Additional Resources You Can Use

1. www.ALAforVeterans.org on the Legislative page:

  • ALA Legislative Advocacy Guide
  • How to Fill Out the Congressional Contact Form
  • How to Contact Legislators to Advocate for Veterans, Service members and their Families

2. www.legion.org/legislative (The American Legion’s Legislative Center):

  • Legislative Testimony Information
  • Point Papers, Priority Sheets, Letters of Support
  • Congressional Contact Report Form

3. Follow us on Facebook:

ALA, Let’s Advocate!

Sign Up for The American Legion's Legislative Action Alerts

US Capitol Building

As part of our keeping the promise to support our mission, are you doing everything you can to advocate The American Legion’s legislative priorities to Congress?

Members just like you have been active in the legislative agenda of The American Legion since the beginning. And our efforts have made an impact! Did you know that the authors of the original G.I. Bill credit the American Legion Auxiliary with getting the majority of the petition signatures of support?

Sign up to receive The American Legion’s Action Alerts, and you will receive an email when a vote is nearing Congress and the Legion Family needs you! The Legion will provide a pre-written message for you to send to your members of Congress with a few clicks.


It's easy — Click the button below and enter your contact information to sign up. You’ll be on your way to advocating that veterans, servicemembers and their families receive the care and services they’ve earned and need.

Sign Up Now
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