Thank you to those who took part in this year's 2019 Advocacy Day! Check back in early 2020 when we announce the date for our next Advocacy Day!
Want to become the NASW liaison for your school? Click here to volunteer!
NOTE: You MUST be a current NASW member to apply. To join, contact NASW Membership Services at 800.742.4089 or join online.
ADVOCACY DAY 2020: TBA
Bank of Springfield Center
1 Convention Center Plaza
Springfield, IL 62701
Advocacy Day will take place in Springfield, Illinois in April 2020 (exact date TBA). Join an anticipated 800+ social workers and social work students from across the state to attend a half day of educational seminars followed by lobbying in the state capital.
Early Bird Student (No CEU) Rate: $15.00 (increases to $20.00 on March 6, 2020)
Non-student (3 CEUs): $45 Nonmember / $20 NASW Member
REGISTRATION IS CURRENTLY CLOSED
*Advocacy Day is a zero profit event for the NASW-Illinois Chapter. All fees cover a portion of facility, speaker, and supply costs. Please note that due to an increase in AV and rental costs, we will not be hosting a coffee and continental breakfast this year. The chapter determined it would be better to keep prices lower and have attendees plan accordingly. We apologize for the change.
Before You Go:
Download the App. With over 1,000 attendees expected, it helps to get organized! Download the Advocacy Day app before arriving in Springfield to get a glance of the day's schedule, interactive maps of the Bank of Springfield Center and the Illinois State Capitol building, locations of state reps in the capitol, and more. Download it here (for event, type in "NASW-IL").
Know Your Legislators. The morning informational sessions will bring you up-to-speed on current legislation, and we need YOUR help following up with legislators at the capitol! Find your 9-digit zipcode here, then look up your state reps here. TIP! Take a screenshot picture of your legislators and save them to your phone's photo gallery. Once you identify your legislators, search for them in our mobile app to find their offices, and make a plan to talk to them on Advocacy Day. Even better, write your legislators to let them know you'll be in the capital on Wednesday and make an appointment with him/her!
Get Packed. You'll be representing yourself, the social work profession, as well as the clients you serve at the capital. Business attire is expected, so brush off those suits and shoes! TIP! Bring your photo ID. You make be asked to present a photo ID at the capitol. Please remember that we will be going into a government building and may be asked to wait in lines at security.
Get Informed. Now that you know who your legislators are, what are you going to talk to them about? NASW-IL will help you get informed on current legislation in the house and senate, but get an early preview by looking at some of the bills here.
What can I expect once I get to Springfield?
Morning Session: Bank of Springfield Center | 9:00am - 12:00pm
When you arrive at the Bank of Springfield Center, you'll enter through the main lobby. Follow signage to the lower level. Once there, search the walls of the hallway outside the ballroom for your school sign. There you will find your NASW-Illinois Chapter Student Liaison. You will receive your Advocacy Day packet from your school liaison. If you arrive late or your liaison isn't standing by your school sign, go into the ballroom to find your school group to receive your packet. Still can't find your school sign or liaison? Check in at the NASW-IL registration table in the hallway.
Lunch on Your Own | 12:00 - 12:45pm
At 12:00pm there will be a 45-minute break for lunch on your own. Check the app for restaurant locations around the capital. Don't forget to leave time to walk to the capitol!
Afternoon Lobbying: Illinois State Capitol | 12:45 - 5:00pm
Meet at the Illinois State Capitol at 12:45pm. This is your opportunity to talk with legislators and their staff on your own about the issues highlighted in the earlier sessions (or ones you want to advocate for yourself). It is incredibly important you take part in this aspect of lobby day. Your efforts here allow us to be heard--do not head home after morning trainings. TIP! If there is a long line at the entrance to the capitol, consider going to one of the other two entries into the building. All will get you to the same place, but one entrance can be busier than the others.
Wear your button! Be sure to wear your "Social Workers Vote!" button in a prominent place. This helps legislators passing by to see social workers are attending in large numbers that day.
Find your state reps. Use our mobile app to locate your representative’s Springfield office address. They will either be marked with "Capitol" (Illinois State Capitol building) or "Stratton" (office building adjacent to the capitol) and a number. We have included extra instructions under the legislators app profile for difficult-to-find offices. TIP! If you can't find your legislator, there are information desks both in the Capitol (ground floor) and Stratton offices (2nd floor) to help you.
To get to the Stratton offices, go downstairs in the Illinois State Capitol building and following the signs in the tunnel. When you get to the cafeteria, go left and take the stairs or an elevator to the second floor. Representatives in Stratton share the same space, so walk around to look for your rep's name on the front desks.
Advocate. Finally, what you came to do! If you're lucky enough that your legislator is in his/her office, talk to them about the issues you came to speak about today. Be confident and precise. Remember, legislators are busy but they DO want to hear from you, their constituents. You are helping them by approaching them.
If your legislator is in session, don't be discouraged. Let his/her staff member know you were here to speak to him/her. Remember to leave a slip (in your Advocacy Day folder) noting your visit with the list of the bills you wish for them to support checked off. TIP! Ask the staff person if he/she knows when the legislator is scheduled to return. The legislator may have committee hearings afterwards; consider heading to those and meet your legislator before or after the committee hearing.
Consider taking a photo with your legislator and tagging it with #NASWIL on social media platforms.
After speaking to your legislator, consider sending us an e-mail at letting us know how the meeting went and what (if any) comments your legislator had regarding a bill.
After visiting/dropping slips with your two legislators, consider helping a friend locate theirs, head up to the chamber galleries and watch some of the debate, or explore the capitol building!