Over one hundred ACA members descended on Capitol Hill this week for meetings with their Members of Congress to advocate for issues important to counseling and counselors. The ACA members were in Washington for ACA’s Institute for Leadership Training which brings together members from National, Regions, Branches and Divisions seeking to enhance their leadership skills and knowledge of the counseling profession.
One ILT session covered the basics of advocacy at the federal and state levels, from setting up appointments to successful meeting strategies to following up afterwards. Members used these skills the next day to encourage their representatives in the House and Senate to support legislation that would authorize Medicare to reimburse counselors, and to support increased funding for grants for school counseling.
Counselors left their Capitol Hill meetings enlightened about the legislative process and encouraged about the prospects for ACA’s legislative priorities. Many of them also had time to visit the House or Senate galleries during the day’s legislative session or to tour the Capitol.
ILT provides an opportunity for a display of ACA members’ collective strength on Capitol Hill, but if members are in Washington at other times of the year (other than the hottest week of the year), ACA’s government affairs department is ready to assist with setting up appointments and preparing you to see your representatives about issues of concern to counselors.