This two-semester course will explore the role of issue advocacy as a theory and a method of social change. In the fall semester, students will learn how advocacy campaigns, legislative lobbying, issue branding, coalition building, and community organizing affects public policy through changes in political power, regulations, and/or legislation. Experts and practitioners will explain scenarios and review case studies. The course will also examine how campaign workers, organizers, community leaders, and think-tank experts can influence research and policy analysis, lobbying, and public relations via interactions with thought leaders and legislative offices or other government officials. In addition, students will learn about the varied skills of public advocacy – from finding and building consensus, making change happen, to fundraising.
In the spring semester course, taught by Daniel Altschuler, director of civic engagement and research at Make the Road NY, students will gain training in a Make The Road advocacy campaign in the area of immigration and access to health. This portion of the course will explore the intersection of immigration issues—especially immigrants’ rights and efforts to organize to protect and advance them— and health care. Students will have the opportunity to get directly involved in an active campaign to expand health care access for immigrants in New York and learn the ins and outs of developing campaign strategy, identifying and activating supporters, conducting campaign-specific research, and lobbying legislators.
Note: The course is a two-semester course spanning the fall and spring (students earn 1.5 credits each semester). The fall semester course (PADM-GP 4407) is a prerequisite for the spring semester course (PADM-GP 4408). As an elective, students can choose to complete the fall semester course only.