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At the 2014 District 1 Fall Conference in Springfield, advocacy was a key topic.  Beginning at the 2014 International Convention, Zonta International reinforced the importance of advocacy in its mission. The Former Legislative Awareness and Advocacy Committee was renamed the Advocacy Committee and a more active advocacy role encouraged in Districts and Clubs.

It was agreed that the 2014 District 1 Platform, created by Dorothy Emerson and Kathryn Patterson during their term as Co Chairs of the 2012-2014 District Advocacy Committee and approved by the District 1 membership at the 2013 Fall Conference  would continue to guide the actions of the District during 2014-2016.

Submitted by Dorothy Emerson (USA) and Kathryn Patterson (CA) approved at Fall Conference 2013.  Thanks to the efforts and support of many Zontians, District 1 now has an Advocacy Platform. It has been a goal of Zonta International for this biennium that each district affirm its commitment to advocacy as well as service–twin ways Zontians fulfill our mission to work for women’s rights worldwide. While many clubs have eagerly embraced service and devoted significant resources of time, energy, and money toward serving women in need in their communities and beyond, far fewer clubs have actively engaged in advocacy. Perhaps this is why ZI asked us as a district to develop and approve our new Advocacy Platform.

Goal 1: Approve Advocacy Platform for 2013-2016 at District 1 Fall Conference 2013.
Action Step: Inform Presidents, Area Directors, and Club Advocacy Representatives of proposed Advocacy Platform and upcoming vote at the 2013 Fall Conference. COMPLETED
Action Step: Present proposed Advocacy Platform for review on conference call, September 24, 2013. COMPLETED
Action Step: Post proposed Advocacy Platform on District 1 Website by October 15, 2013. COMPLETED

Goal 2: Increase visibility in District 1 of advocacy projects to advance the status of women both locally and internationally.
Action Step: At least once each Biennium a district conference will feature a credible speaker on advocacy issues important to the district.
Action Step: At least once each Biennium a district conference will feature an interactive workshop to increase awareness and skills of members and clubs in advocacy and/or about specific advocacy issues.
Action Step: Summaries of speaker presentations and workshops will be posted on the district website and distributed to Advocacy Chairs in other districts and to the ZI Advocacy Committee.

Goal 3: Encourage each club to designate at least one member to serve as Advocacy Representative. Larger clubs are encouraged to form Advocacy Committees.
Action Step: District Advocacy Co-Chairs will reach out within the district to identify Club Advocacy Representatives.
Action Step: Each Advocacy Representative will receive communications from District Advocacy Co-Chairs and distribute within their club.
Action Step: Each Advocacy Representative will submit an annual report on club advocacy actions and projects.
Action Step: At Fall Conference 2013, District Advocacy Co-Chairs will present a workshop on advocacy and demonstrate how service and advocacy are related and can support each other.

Goal 4: District Advocacy Co-Chairs will communicate regularly with Club Advocacy Representatives, Area Directors, Club Presidents, and ZI Advocacy representatives.
Action Step:
 District Advocacy Co-Chairs will periodically inform Club Advocacy Representatives, Area Directors, and Club Presidents of resources recommended by the ZI about actions clubs and individual members can take to end violence against women, advance equal rights & opportunities, and ensure justice for women under fair and equitable laws.
Action Step: District Advocacy Co-Chairs will post on district website resources from the ZI Advocacy Committee about recommended advocacy actions and projects.
Action Step: District Advocacy Co-Chairs will host periodic conference calls to encourage clubs to share with each other their advocacy projects and to advance advocacy work within the district.

Goal 5: Encourage members, clubs, and District 1 Leadership to participate actively in the Zonta Says NO Campaign.
Action Step:
 At Spring Workshop 2013, provide information about the Zonta Says NO Campaign and invite clubs to explore actions they might take. COMPLETED
Action Step: At Fall Conference 2013, highlight at least one example of a club’s participation in the Zonta Says NO Campaign.   COMPLETED
Action Step: Clubs that participate in the Zonta Says NO Campaign will share reports and photos with the District Advocacy Co-Chairs, post them on district website, and send them to the ZI Advocacy Committee.