The core value of Head Start California is advocacy. As we move forward into the new fiscal year and into future legislative sessions, one of the best investments we can make is in our capacity to engage in our advocacy work. One of the challenges we face is how we each perceive and understand the rules around advocacy and how that is distinguished from lobbying. These kinds of questions can sometimes raise anxiety levels for Head Start leaders as well as the staff and parents who look to them for guidance.

We’re excited about the opportunity to provide more training to our members on this topic. In cooperation with the state Head Start associations of Idaho, Washington and North Dakota, Head Start California is hosting a new opportunity for our members to learn about advocacy. We’ve scheduled two webinars: Wednesday, July 24 and Tuesday, August 6 to focus on this issue. These webinars are free of charge and are specifically designed for the leadership of Head Start programs.

In this webinar, we will learn more about how to maximize our lobbying dollars, and what activity is considered advocacy but not lobbying. These are important distinctions and can help us — individually and collectively — have a much greater impact on the policy and budgetary goals we hope to achieve. Building a shared understanding across the association brings coherence — everybody working from the same definitions and playing the advocacy game using the same playbook.

More than one leadership guru has suggested that organizations become great — not by doing uncommon things — but by doing common tasks extraordinarily well, with uncommon discipline. I believe our path to becoming an extraordinary association includes multiple opportunities to reach a shared understanding of not only the goals we want to achieve, but the means by which we achieve them.

You can sign up for the webinar here.

Christopher Maricle
Executive Director
Head Start California