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Current Prevention Advocacy
Prevent Coalition has a vision of a healthy, thriving community free of the effects of substance abuse. To achieve such a mission takes the individual actions of community members. Our role at a community coalition is to help educate and empower community members and volunteers on how to get involved with realizing this vision.
During the 2018-19 legislative session we educated decision makers on substance use issues in relation to raising the legal age to purchase tobacco. In March 2019 Washington State Legislature passed legislation to raise the legal age to purchase Tobacco products to 21. Prior, we shared what youth experience in their communities and what the data around youth behaviors shows. We encourage you to learn more and engage with decision makers. Each year we attend Prevention Policy Day in Olympia, helping youth share their stories and insight with legislator and we host an annual Youth Advocacy Training to prepare youth to effectively share their stories and community data with legislators and decision makers.
What’s the difference between advocacy and lobbying?
Policy change is a major focus of community coalitions. We know that changing laws, regulations, and policies will have a major effect on creating healthy communities. We also know everyone has a voice, a unique perspective and a moral obligation to share it with decision-makers.
Coalition members may not lobby on specific bills or policy when using the coalition’s federal funding. Members can however advocate for changes in policy, including activities such as speaking with legislators in order to educate about a specific issue concerning prevention, or to bring attention to issues concerning the community the coalition serves.
There are lots of nitty-gritty details about what constitutes lobbying verses advocacy work, but this should never stop us from doing the work necessary to update and change legislation to better our communities. Sharing stories, what’s happening in your community and local data educates decision-makers and is encouraged as a prevention practice.
Add your voice to community based prevention efforts:
WASAVP is recognized as the lead voice for state and national advocacy in matters of substance abuse and violence prevention for Washington State. WASAVP financially through membership to support state lobbying and educational materials. You can also sign up for their free online newsletter with Action Alert items to make public comment on proposed state legislation.
WLCB oversees the implementation of rules, licensing, and enforcement of alcohol and marijuana in Washington State. The WLCB website has multiple updates, a mailing list and email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) for direct comment.
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