Advocacy 101

The key to success in changing government policies and funding is through grassroots advocacy. Our Advocates are the Arthritis Foundation’s chief resource for making positive changes in our government. Advocacy is often thought of as intimidating, inaccessible and complicated but it can be a lot easier than you may think and that elected officials want to hear your story!

Whether you are attending Arthritis Foundation’s Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC, or meeting with your state officials, advocating for arthritis issues throughout the country is essential to making medications more affordable, funding new research and ultimately finding a cure. 

The Arthritis Foundation is committed to turning these challenges and priorities into action through our state and federal advocacy programs. 

Types of Advocacy


Represent and speak up for yourself and your loved ones. Be informed about the issues and take an active role in positively impacting policy that will allow you and your community to live a healthy, productive life. 


With your help, we can work together to build the strongest community possible. You can be the voice for the interests and concerns of your neighbors. 


Use your local communication channels to increase public awareness and influence public interest in arthritis issues through publication letters, social media, interviews and other communication platforms. 


Reach out to elected officials at the local, state or federal level, to educate and influence them on important legislative decisions. Every American has a constitutional right to have his or her voice heard by elected decision makers. 


Influence laws, regulations and rules that have an impact on your well-being. This can be as lofty as a federal regulation or as simple as a rule at your workplace. 

Your Role in Government

As a citizen of the United States of America, it is your right and responsibility to take an active role in our government. You can do so as an Arthritis Foundation Advocate! Your first step is understanding the basic structure of our civic system. There are three levels of government you can engage with: 


If you want to engage at the federal level, you should contact your Representative in the U.S. Congress and your two U.S. Senators. You can also reach out to the President of the United States, who heads the executive branch of the federal government. 


If you want to engage at the state level, you should contact your state legislators. Every state (except Nebraska) has a bicameral legislature with both a House and a Senate.  The Governor of each state heads the executive branch. 


If you want to engage at a local level, you can notify your local elected officials, like your town’s mayor or council member. 

Elected officials at all levels of government represent the members of their community called constituents. As a constituent, you have specific elected officials based on where you live. Find your elected officials on our website - go to our Action Center and use the Find Officials tool. 

Send your questions to [email protected]

Advocate for What's Right

As an Arthritis Advocate, you’ll feel good about taking action to make health care more accessible. Help shift the policy and public perception that affects those living with arthritis.

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