El poder y la voz de Alabama Arise en la Legislatura se fortalecen cuando nuestra membresía crece y se diversifica. Te animamos a que invites a tu familia, amigos y comunidad a unirse a ti para apoyar a Arise, y tenemos materiales para ayudarte a compartir nuestro trabajo.
Regardless of your income, making a will or living trust is an important step to ensure your end-of-life wishes are known. We hope you will consider including a legacy gift to Alabama Arise to continue your support of a better Alabama and help ensure the longevity of our organization.
Contact your financial adviser to customize a gift to Alabama Arise that meets your interests and financial planning needs.
A sample bequest
I hereby give, devise and bequeath to Alabama Arise, or its successors in interest, with offices at 400 South Union Street, Montgomery, AL 36104, federal tax ID 63-1186365, the sum of $X (amount written out), exclusive of my lifetime donations, if any, to be used for Alabama Arise’s most urgent priorities as determined by its board of directors in the board of directors’ sole discretion.
Thank you for considering Alabama Arise in your end-of-life planning. If you have any questions, please email development associate McKenzie Burton at email@example.com or call our office at 334-832-9060.
Gifting stock to Alabama Arise is easy to do and a smart way to give. Appreciated stock can be up to 20% more valuable than if you sell it and then donate the cash. This allows you to make a bigger impact and save on your taxes.
Donating to Alabama Arise with a stock donation gets you the same tax deduction as a cash gift, but you owe no taxes on the stocks you donate. This contribution allows you to save on your taxes two ways: by avoiding capital gains taxes on the donated amount, and by allowing you to take an income tax deduction. You can make this deduction for the stock’s full market value.
If you want to give by stock, give us a call at 334-832-9060 and we can get you the information you will need.
We’re grateful for your partnership to build a better Alabama for all. If you have any questions about giving by stock or any of our other ways to give, please feel free to call the office or email development associate McKenzie Burton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alabama Arise’s power and voice at the Legislature gets stronger when our membership is growing and diversifying. We encourage you to invite your family, friends and network to join you in supporting Arise – and we have materials to help you share our work.
People often ask where they can start and what they can do to be advocates for change in Alabama. Here are some practical ideas from Alabama Arise:
Understand: Advocacy has an important place alongside charity. Writing a $50 check to a local program or an international relief effort can benefit people in need. Writing a letter to an elected official can help leverage millions of dollars to help people in need. We can be good stewards of our gifts of money – and also good stewards of our gift of citizenship. As an example: One church’s mission committee gave members grocery sacks, with an envelope, paper and information on a hunger issue paper-clipped to them. They asked people to take two actions: Bring back the grocery sack filled with cans, and write a letter to a lawmaker to support good public policy.
To influence a legislator, phone calls and letters are the most effective form of communication. The rule of thumb is this: Lawmakers assume that the amount of time you spend indicates how much you care about the issue. Taking a few minutes to write a note or personalize an email shows more interest than taking 10 seconds to sign a form letter. (Note: There may be other reasons to run petition campaigns, so don’t write them off entirely!)
If possible, ask for a specific action on specific legislation. It’s not usually effective to say, “Please do something to help homeless families.” Legislators may talk a good line about their concern for people in need, but it’s harder to dodge a specific request, such as, “Please vote for House Bill 212 when it comes before the Commerce Committee.”
Join an organized group. Advocacy groups decide on issue targets and then organize people to achieve a win. When their newsletter or website educates you about an issue, you can get more out of news coverage of that issue – and advocate more effectively for change.
Letters to the editor are an effective tool. Not only can you help to educate the public on an issue, you also may catch the attention of your lawmakers – especially if you name them in the letter. Also, when you read an especially good op-ed (or letter to the editor or article), email it or clip it and send it to your legislator. This shows there’s a constituency for that point of view.
Invite a speaker. Groups like Arise have organizers whose job is to help get people started in advocacy. Arrange for a speaker for your organization, your committee or your Sunday School class – or set up a special online session. We’re happy to help!
Attend a legislative day. Some advocacy groups have annual legislative days when scores of constituents gather at the State House to visit their legislators. The Arise Legislative Day includes an issue briefing so participants can make their case to legislators persuasively and concisely. There is often time to sit in the gallery and observe the legislative process, which can be illuminating. (Hearing the arguments that some lawmakers make, you may realize you know an issue better than they do!) It may be possible for more people to attend legislative days now since the pandemic has caused us to use both in-person and virtual formats.
Greet your lawmaker in the street. It’s not always necessary to greet your legislator with an issue in your mind. Effective lobbyists know it’s all about relationships.
Engage in advocacy on social media. You can keep up with issues by liking Arise and other advocacy groups on Facebook and following us on Twitter and Instagram. Many legislators also engage with constituents on various social media outlets.
Find natural allies. Good organizing starts with your strengths, so it’s OK to “preach to the choir” – that is, to start with people who already sympathize and build from there. Share information about the issue and the advocacy organization. We need to spread the word about Alabama’s advocacy groups and the best sources of information.
Share issue information with your minister/priest/rabbi, especially if they are not familiar with the organization. They may be looking for examples of root causes of poverty.
Set up an email list so you can share urgent action alerts. Your email program probably has a way to define a group so you can get the alerts out quickly. Listservs are another option.
Invite your legislator to meet with a group. This makes sense if you have a number of people who care about an issue and have done their homework.
Make telephone calls about your event along with written invitations. A mailing or email doesn’t produce the same turnout unless the group is highly committed. A person who is willing to phone people is a prize organizer.
An Arise listening session is a good way to involve new people. Invite an Arise organizer to a meeting of existing and prospective Arise members, either in person or virtually. The opportunity to share thoughts and concerns can be an appealing way to get people fired up and active.
Help people determine who their state representative and senator are. A single congregation in a city can have members from a dozen districts. You can find a person’s district using Arise’s look-up tool at alarise.salsalabs.org/contactelectedofficials.
Brainstorm who else should be involved. Come up with a list of local groups and congregations you know. Introduce them to Arise or other advocacy groups.
Rehearse for your meeting with a legislator. Decide who will make which points, and make them concisely. Try to anticipate your legislator’s concerns and how to respond to them.
Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.” You have the right and responsibility to participate in our democracy. You don’t have to be an expert … but you should do your homework. And don’t be intimidated: You’re likely to know more about some issues than your legislators!
Tell your story and help find others to tell theirs. Stories help people connect. Personalize the issue – don’t just quote numbers! And help find real-world stories of people affected by the issue. Advocacy groups need people who are willing to tell their stories to reporters and legislators.
Help spread the word about coming events. Be the person who knows about good opportunities and lets other people know. Better yet, each member of your group can volunteer to track an issue so you can cover even more territory.
Bring the food for an event. Relationship-building is an important part of organizing, and cookie bakers are highly valued!
Remember: Furniture matters. A group that is too informal may get down to business if they meet around a table. A task-oriented group that needs to build relationships may need to sit on sofas and chairs in someone’s den. Make sure the room setup is conducive to what you’re trying to do.
Join an email list. Several Alabama advocacy groups can keep you informed by email. Sign up for Arise’s action alerts and Daily News Digest list at al-arise.local.
Recruit an advocacy accountability buddy. Many of us intend to make that phone call or send that email, but we put it off. The idea of the action accountability buddy is that after an action alert comes, you check with each other to confirm that you both have called or written promptly.
Find out if your statewide faith community is in partnership with advocacy groups. Sometimes a local congregation isn’t aware that the bishop is involved, or that the diocese has joined an advocacy effort. Several state leaders are getting their faith communities more involved. Urge yours to get more involved, too!
Launch an effort to get your congregation or group to join Arise and other advocacy groups. Some congregations welcome coffee-hour letter-writing; others will schedule a special program. Ask our staff for advice.
Donate money to advocacy work. Think of it as an investment in a better quality of life for people in Alabama. Your financial support of advocacy work can help leverage multimillion-dollar changes in public policy. Please include Arise and other advocacy groups in your giving mix.
VOTE! Voting is a very important way to make your voice heard. It is your opportunity to choose your elected officials. Find out where candidates stand on the issues that matter to you, and vote your conscience.
Encourage others to vote. Be sure your eligible friends and family are registered and vote as well. This will help them make their voices heard in the policymaking process.
Help us build a better, healthier Alabama for everyone! Alabama Arise is a proud member of the Cover Alabama Coalition. Cover Alabama is a nonpartisan alliance of more than 110 advocacy groups, businesses, community organizations, consumer groups, health care providers and religious congregations advocating for Alabama to provide quality, affordable health coverage to its residents and implement a sustainable health care system.
The voices and needs of people matter. And engaging those voices in the policymaking process is key to building the better, more inclusive Alabama that we envision.
Alabama Arise remains committed to informing and equipping our members to influence policies that affect their lives and communities. As we look toward the Alabama Legislature’s 2021 regular session, we’re prioritizing ways to keep constituent voices at the forefront of the policymaking process.
The legislative session beginning Feb. 2 will be the most constrained in decades due to COVID-19’s impacts. Access to traditional methods of contacting and monitoring legislators in person at the State House, including public hearings and floor debates, will be severely restricted for the general public.
In fact, there is considerable uncertainty about how long and exactly which days the Legislature will be in session. While many bills will be introduced, the only constitutional requirement for lawmakers is to pass state budgets.
Lawmakers will meet for three days in each of the first two weeks before pausing until Feb. 23 for further assessment, House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said last week. The full Legislature can gather for up to 30 meeting days in 15 calendar weeks.
Because of the session’s uncertain flow and the difficulty of meeting with legislators to discuss issues, we must use every method possible this year to inform and influence our legislators at the local level. Below are some of the key approaches you can take.
Methods of contact to use
Legislators may have significant breaks and limited contact from constituents during the session. An old-fashioned and powerful way to ensure they hear your voice is to write and mail them a letter. Be sure to make your case in your own words. (Information from Arise can help with explaining the issue and your stance.) Letters sent to lawmakers’ personal addresses or district offices are best, but letters to their Montgomery offices are important, too.
Give your local legislators a call on the issues that matter to you. To develop a connection with them, ask them for information and tell them about yourself in addition to asking them to support or oppose particular bills. When you reach out to lawmakers, ask for their preferred contact number. If they give you a cell phone number, ask if you can text them about important matters during the session.
Most legislators have Facebook accounts. You often can use them to message lawmakers directly or provide critical information privately or publicly. Arise organizers are compiling an up-to-date list of Facebook accounts to share with you for your local legislative delegation.
Twitter can be a quick, powerful and public way to contact legislators, even as they debate issues on the floor. Arise organizers are compiling an up-to-date list of Twitter accounts for you to use to contact your local delegation.
Text messages can be the most effective way to contact your legislator quickly at any time. Legislators invariably read text messages on the floor, during the session and at many other times. If you don’t already have a close relationship with the lawmaker, consider limiting your use of this method to critical moments when there isn’t time to use other approaches. Note: It’s important that you call and ask your legislator if you have permission to text them.
Email is sometimes seen as an overused tool, but it remains an important and necessary one. When the session is underway, tons of emails come in to lawmakers. You should email them as well to ensure they hear from people who believe as you do. Emails sent while legislators are not in session have a better chance of getting read and influencing their position.
A few basic tips for speaking with legislators
Always be courteous and address lawmakers as “Senator” or “Representative.”
Remember to tell them where you live and that you vote in their district.
If you are asking them to support a certain position or bill, ask them for a response.
If they support your position, be sure to thank them.
If they oppose your position, ask them politely to explain why.
Thank you for advocating for a better Alabama for all! Here are some things you should know if you plan to visit the State House in Montgomery.
The Alabama State House is located at 11 South Union Street, Montgomery, AL 36130. For House information, call 334-261-0500. For Senate information, call 334-261-0800.
Everyone must go through the front door of the State House and through the metal detector. Your personal belongings, such as a purse, wallet, cell phone, coins and anything metal, must be placed on the conveyor belt and X-rayed. Objects that are not allowed, such as knives, nail clippers, pepper spray, etc., will be confiscated. Masks are recommended during the COVID-19 pandemic, and temperature checks are being done as visitors enter.
Tips for visiting House members
The House of Representatives is on the 5th floor. Individual members’ offices are on the 4th and 5th floors. You may go by their office and leave notes or information. They may be on the House floor, and office doors may be locked. You can push information under their doors or tape it to their doors. Masks are required on this floor.
You can write a note to your representative if he or she is on the House floor. The note should be brief. Say you are with Alabama Arise, give your name and town, and ask that they come out and speak with you. Give the note to a page (young volunteer) at the front desk located on the 5th floor. You may be allowed to stay on the 5th floor behind the ropes or be asked to wait on the 6th floor.
The House Gallery is on the 6th floor, and you are welcome to go there to watch the proceedings. There is also a big lobby outside the gallery where legislators may come meet with you if you sent them a note. Masks are required on this floor.
Tips for visiting Senate members
The Senate Chamber and the senators’ offices are on the 7th floor. Please be mindful not to block the halls if you go to the offices. If your senator is not in the office, you may leave a note and information with the secretary.
If your senator is on the Senate floor, you may write a note asking him or her to come out and speak to you. Give the note to a page at the end of the lobby near the entrance to the chamber. Wait behind the roped-off walkway, and if possible, your senator will come out.
To observe the Senate, you must go to the 8th floor either by the steps or by a small elevator at the left side of the Senate lobby. Use the steps if possible.
Enjoy your visit, and thank you for advocating for a better Alabama for all!
Alabama Arise members are generous, caring and resourceful people. That’s why I want to highlight a powerful giving opportunity for members who are at least 70½ years of age and drawing income from a tax-deferred savings account such as a traditional IRA, 401(k), 403(k), 403(b) or Thrift Savings Plan.
Whether you itemize or take the standard deduction, up to $100,000 of your required minimum distribution (RMD) can be tax-free when you give to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization like Arise through a qualified charitable distribution (QCD).
The check should be payable to Alabama Arise. You can ask your account custodian to mail it directly to us. Or if you prefer, you can have the check sent to you and then mail it yourself. Our address is Alabama Arise, P.O. Box 1188, Montgomery, AL 36101.
If you ask the custodian to send the check directly, call 334-832-9060 or email development associate McKenzie Burton at email@example.com to notify us. That way we’ll know who to thank for the gift!
To ensure the tax benefit, apply for the QCD before you take your full RMD for the year. You’ll need our Employer Identification Number (EIN), which is 63-1186365.
We’re grateful for your support of our advocacy for better public policies. Together, we’re making life better for families across Alabama.