Arthritis Foundation In-Person Advocacy Events
Read about past and upcoming advocacy events.
2020 Advocacy Leadership Retreat
2019 Advocacy Summit
Empowered to Live Yes!
The 2019 Advocacy Summit took place March 11-12, 2019 at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View in Arlington, VA.
Together we are empowered to Live Yes! Your story can move mountains. You have the power to influence your elected officials and break down barriers to the care everyone deserves. By sharing with and educating your lawmakers, you can break down barriers for people with arthritis. The Summit is a forum for volunteers who are dedicated to making a long-term commitment to leadership in Arthritis Foundation advocacy. It is an opportunity to both build meaningful relationships with your elected officials and cultivate the skills to empower and engage other people in your community who are impacted by arthritis. This year’s event will be our opportunity to introduce a new Congress to the many faces of arthritis and the issues most important to the arthritis community.
For questions, please reach out to Julie Eller, Grassroots Advocacy Manager, at [email protected].
Training Materials & Resources:
Advocate Summit Training Videos
How to Apply for a Travel Award
Preparing for the Advocacy Summit
2019 Advocacy Summit State Coordinator Training
2019 Advocacy Summit: Know Before You Go
What are we asking Congress for?
This video will set you up for success by teaching you the legislative asks that we are bringing to Capitol Hill at the Advocacy Summit! Together we will urge Congress to make step therapy processes more transparent for patients, spread the word about the benefits of joining the Congressional Arthritis Caucus, and ensure people with arthritis have quality access to the healthcare they need!
When your Hill meetings end, you'll be leaving behind several documents for your member of Congress and their staff to review. Check them out below.
Welcome to Congress Packet: Use this resource to educate your members of Congress about the Arthritis Caucus, key federal priorities, and the prevalence, impact, and outlook of arthritis in your state.
State Arthritis Fact Sheets: How does your home state stack up against the rest of the country? Find out how arthritis affects people in your state and what you can do to make a difference.
To find out if your member of Congress co-sponsored the Restoring the Patient's Voice Act (H.R. 2077) in the 115th Congress, click here.
Virtual Summit - Take Action From Home
- Create your sign: Print out this sign and in one sentence, written large and legible, tell us why you #AdvocateforArthritis!
- Take your picture: Hold your sign and snap a picture- it’s important that your words are large and easy to read in the picture. Ask a friend to take your picture so they can help make sure your message is clear!
- Set an alarm: Our goal is to flood the internet with our messages of hope and determination at 12:00 pm Eastern Time on March 12. Coordinating our posts will help our hashtag gain traction on social media. Set an alarm on your phone or calendar right now to remind yourself to post your picture online at 12:00 pm eastern on March 12!
- Plan your post: Your post can be simple, just reiterate the reason that you #AdvocateforArthritis! You’ll want to make sure to include the hashtag #AdvocateforArthritis and tag the Arthritis Foundation.
- Send it live: On March 12 at 12:00 pm Eastern Time, your alarm will ring to tell you it’s time to share your story online. You can view all of the posts in our social media aggregator on our Advocate 101 web page.
Social Media Advocacy Tips
If you want to take your post to the next level, you can:
1. Tag your members of Congress. Your post can tell them why you #AdvocateforArthritis and to keep an eye out for our Advocacy Champions on the Hill that day.
Example tweet: “I #AdvocateforArthritis with the @ArthritisFdn because patients are the ultimate stakeholders in health care. @ SenatorCantwell& @PattyMurray, look out for our Arthritis Advocates on Capitol Hill this March 12!”
2. Share a Link to our Action Center. Encourage your friends to take action by your side by sharing a link to arthritis.org/actioncenter. There they’ll be able to pick an action alert of their choice that will allow them to send a pre-formatted letter to Congress, emphasizing the asks from our Advocacy Summit. This will help us amplify the voices on Capitol Hill an encourage members of Congress to support our arthritis priorities.
Example tweet: “I #AdvocateforArthritis with the @ArthritisFdn because patients are the ultimate stakeholders in health care. Take action with me by sharing your story with Congress at arthritis.org/actioncenter
3. Raise Awareness for your Walk to Cure Arthritis Team Page. By posting your reason to #AdvocateforArthritis with a link to your team or donation page, you have an opportunity to reach new people with your message and motivate them to help contribute to research for a cure.
Example tweet: “I #AdvocateforArthritis because I am one of the 300,000 children in the United States with juvenile arthritis. You can support my @ArthritisFdn advocacy by joining or contributing to my Walk to Cure Arthritis Team. [Include a link to your team page]”
Post your pictures with our #AdvocateforArthritis hashtag and we will show the world that we are Empowered to Live Yes!
Platinum Ambassador Assembly
The 2018 Platinum Ambassador Assembly took place in Washington, DC, March 12-13, 2018.
In lieu of our traditional Advocacy Summit, this NEW event featured specialized and advanced trainings for a small cohort of top grassroots volunteers, our Platinum Ambassadors! The event focused on cultivating skills to excel not only on Capitol Hill meeting with elected officials, but also in their hometowns and with state officials. Platinum Ambassadors received full scholarships to the event as an award for their dedicated advocacy efforts throughout 2017.
The Advocacy Summit will return next year, and we will alternate these two events in the future.
Please contact Julie Eller, manager of grassroots advocacy, with any questions or concerns you have regarding the Platinum Ambassador Assembly.
Event Registration & Programming
How to Follow up After Your Hill Meeting
How to Have a Succesful Hill Meeting
Know Before You Go
This short video provides insight into the federal legislative process and what you can expect on your trip to Capitol Hill.
Precision Advocacy - 2018 Legislative Asks
As part of our precision advocacy focus, we will be giving you a menu of legislative asks to choose from for your Hill visits. Our core asks will be around step therapy legislation and the Arthritis Caucus, and the menu of options will include policies on a range of topics, from pediatric rheumatology shortages to out-of-pocket costs. Read about our asks and watch our video!