The Unapologetic Advocate: Advocacy is Just a Click (or Two) Away

After a summer hiatus, which included a successful 2019 TESOL Advocacy and Policy Summit, my annual Golden Girls marathon (180 episodes over 3 months, you do the math), and the departure of my boss and mentor John Segota, I’m back to shamelessly and unapologetically plug a great new resource that recently launched for TESOL advocates.

The TESOL Advocacy Action Center is the association’s new hub for taking action on legislative issues impacting English learners and teachers across the United States. Even better—it’s extremely simple to use, not to mention free for all advocates to use and share. Wait, free? What’s the catch? Well, unlike that 3-hour timeshare spiel you sat through to get free Disney World tickets, there are no strings attached here. The Action Center was designed to not only help you quickly take action on important issues such as the Reaching English Learners Act, but to provide you with a directory of your representatives in Congress and state legislatures. Not sure who your state senator is? Don’t worry, neither do I—but I know where I can find out—the TESOL Advocacy Action Center, that’s where!

As I just mentioned, taking action is quick and easy! Once you enter your address, the Action Center will automatically know whether your members of congress have cosponsored the bill in question and present you with a prewritten email to send, either asking your lawmakers for their support, or thanking them for already cosponsoring the bill! Don’t like what the letter says? Well, you can add your own personal story or thoughts in the email! Ready to hit send? Great! One-click and you instantly send emails to your members of the House of Representatives and Senate!

Oh, but the fun doesn’t stop there. Once you send your e-mails, the option to tweet to your members of Congress comes up, once again automatically populating your tweets with suggested text based on their support of the bill being advocated for. Still feel like being the literary critic for The New York Times? That’s fine (it’s getting little hurtful now, but I’ll live) as the text can again be customized to your liking.

That must be it then, right? Nope! There is one last step, and that is sharing all of the great advocacy campaigns that are posted in the TESOL Advocacy Action Center. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, grassroots advocacy is all about gaining momentum and taking action at the local level. Once you’ve sent your emails and tweets, please share information about TESOL’s advocacy campaigns with your friends and colleagues. Each time you take action, the confirmation page will provide you with the option to share information through Facebook, Twitter, or email. Now, you’re done!

Taking action and being a TESOL advocate has never been easier or quicker, so visit the TESOL Advocacy Action Center and please share it with your friends and colleagues.

On a more serious(ish) note, I’d like to use this space to congratulate and wish all the luck in the world to John Segota, who is now a big-shot executive director. John served TESOL for more than 20 years, and as I often reminded him before promptly and smugly walking away: When he first started at TESOL…I was in the sixth grade. Not only are the association and profession so much better and stronger for having John’s service, dedication, and guidance, but so am I, along with countless others. If I can find a way to be half of the consummate professional that John is, I will consider myself to be a success.

About David Cutler

David Cutler
David Cutler is the policy and communications manager at TESOL International Association. He received his bachelor’s in social studies education from Ithaca College and his master’s degree in public administration from Cornell University. His work at TESOL includes monitoring and responding to policies that impact English language teachers and learners, organizing the annual TESOL Advocacy & Policy Summit, and managing the association’s communications initiatives. David’s previous work experiences have included the District of Columbia Public Schools, American Federation of Teachers, and New York State Assembly. Be sure to follow David on Twitter @TESOLpolicyguy.
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