The Washington State Society for Clinical Social Work Legislative Committee strives to advocate for the interests of licensed independent clinical social workers and their clients in Washington. We employ lobbyist, TBD, who track all legislation and regulation which affects clinical social workers. The WSSCSW lobbyists read over 100 bills a year and attend committee hearings to lobby legislators, agencies, and the Governor. They work with fellow mental health lobbyists and legislative chairs to support the positions developed by the Society Board.
WSSCSW lobbyist work to support our policy priorities, including lobbying on our behalf, arranging meetings with elected officials and workers, and connecting with staff and lobbyists for allied organizations.
Political advocacy and lobbying involve participants sharing their opinion on an issue to elected officials through emails, calls, letters, and social media. An advocate’s primary goal is to increase support for an organization, cause, or policy. Concerning nonprofit organizations, advocacy generates advancements in issues concerning people and their communities.
Lobbying is a form of advocacy and involves communicating with legislators about existing or pending legislation to influence their decision to support or abandon policies.
There are two main types of lobbying:
Sometimes, the term lobbying has a negative connotation as only benefiting groups with a lot of money and power. But ultimately, lobbying is an essential educational tool and impacts change.
Lobbying requires engagement from both lobbyists and legislators. Mobilization is essential to legislators because the reality is that tens of thousands of bills are introduced in each congressional cycle. Even if a legislator supports an issue, they might not know that a bill on the matter has been submitted. Without support, bills can easily stall and die when a legislative cycle ends. Therefore, lobbyists are vital in informing a legislator on an issue and advocating for policies that drive change.
Are you registered to vote?
If we vote, we can have a major voice on election results and legislation. Elected officials create policies that affect our clients and profession. Our vote is our voice. It’s our power. It’s how we can build communities where we can thrive. From Congress to our local government, there’s so much on the ballot: access to health care, how communities are policed, the judges who make decisions in courts at every level, how we combat climate change, and more. WSSCSW knows people sometimes wonder if their vote is just a drop in the ocean—but we want you to know that every bit counts.
Voting in every election is an investment in our future and takes us one step closer to securing a democracy that works for us all.