Advocacy Updates

Advocacy Update: Your vote is your voice 

December 2023

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash As we end 2023 and look toward a new year of new opportunities, it is important that we reflect on the events that captured the headlines this year, including labor strikes, controversial U.S. Supreme Court decisions, congressional upheaval and international crises. The issues of the current year usually shape the political landscape of the next year, particularly as we move into a congressional and presidential election cycle. A little less than a year is left until Election Day 2024, and this would be a great opportunity for you to begin focusing on the issues, considering how you would like to make your voice heard and becoming involved in advocacy efforts that support your profession and community. One of the easiest ways to effect change and help to create a lasting impact in your community is to vote. If you think that just one vote in a sea of millions can’t make much of a difference, consider some of the closest elections in our history. In the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore narrowly lost the Electoral College vote to George W. Bush (266–271) because of a difference of about 600 votes in Florida. In 2016, although Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote by nearly 3 million, Donald Trump voters in key “swing” states helped to gain enough electoral votes to win him the presidency. If you are not registered to vote — or are not sure if you are already registered — visit to make sure that you can cast your ballot on Election Day. Your vote may not directly elect the president, but if you join with enough voters in your district or county, your vote will matter when it comes to electoral results. We realize that not everyone is able to vote, but there are still things that you can do to become involved and make your voice heard:
  • Talk to people in your community. Even if you cannot vote, you can still voice opinions on social media, in your school or local newspaper and in other public forums. You never know who might be listening.
  • Volunteer. If you support a particular candidate, you can work on their campaign by participating in phone banks, doing door-to-door outreach or volunteering at campaign headquarters. Your work can help get candidates elected.
ACA often calls on you and others in the counseling community to engage with congressional leaders on issues that affect the counseling profession. It is critical that you let those in Congress know the importance of legislation that will yield their constituents greater access to behavioral health services and other resources. The ACA Government Affairs and Public Policy team is here to provide you with tips on how to schedule meetings with your senators or representatives, offer insight into our legislative priorities on which to advocate, and provide necessary resources that will allow you to feel confident going into these meetings. Every day, legislators make decisions on your behalf — without hearing from you. You should be shaping policy decisions when it comes to legislation that affects licensed professional counselors and others in your community. Legislators pay attention when they hear from their constituents. And if they don’t hear from you, they may make uninformed decisions. Our primary goal is to create counselor-advocates. At ACA, we aim to empower our members by equipping them with the tools needed to successfully advocate on the federal, state and local levels. We encourage members to recruit and engage other counselors, which will in turn increase our presence on Capitol Hill. We want to create volunteer leaders by providing members with the educational currency that is crucial to advancing our legislation. ACA is committed to advocating on behalf of the profession and advancing all counseling specialties. Please let your congressional leaders know who you are, what you do and the importance of the counseling community. Letting them know about legislation that is important to you would greatly help our efforts. You don’t have to come to Washington to contact your House or Senate representatives. You can meet with them in your own community by attending a town hall meeting or scheduling a meeting at their local in-state office. If you would like to be an agent for change and support ACA’s advocacy efforts, please contact the ACA Government Affairs and Public Policy team at to find out how you can make a difference.
Guila Todd is the government affairs manager for ACA. Contact him at
Opinions expressed and statements made in articles appearing on CT Online should not be assumed to represent the opinions of the editors or policies of the American Counseling Association.

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