The Amplification Project attended two recent events convened by the Anti-Poverty Network (APN) of New Jersey, where we had several encouraging conversations with non-profit leaders about how we can help them ramp up their digital advocacy efforts. The APN has three key issues they are focused on -housing, hunger and unemployment – and they are working hard to advocate for low- and moderate-income New Jersey residents on these three issues. As the state budget debate heats up this June, the APN will be on the forefront of advocating for funding to helping those in need.
APN Summit Recap
The APN Summit was held at the War Memorial Theater in Trenton on May 21, and was well attended by non-profits, policy analysts, advocates and legislators. The Amplification Project’s Story Booth was on site to record video testimonials for its Paid Family Leave campaign, along with New Jersey Citizen Action and the Time to Care Coalition. The APN focused on arming attendees with sophisticated data to use in their advocacy, exemplified by a series of charts presented by the Poverty Research Institute, which focused on poverty and the stagnant recovery in New Jersey.
The APN also presented a position paper that focused on three issues for the network’s advocacy efforts: housing, hunger and employment. The experts who co-authored the paper each presented an executive summary of their primary focus; Arnold Cohen from the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey spoke on housing, Adele La Tourette from the New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition spoke about hunger, and Ray Castro from New Jersey Policy Perspective spoke about employment.
There was a wealth of data presented at the summit, and guests left with a folder of summarizing documents to refer back to as they put this data to use in their lobbying efforts. Summit attendees also showed much interest in learning more about the Amplification Project and digital advocacy. Reflecting on the rich data the APN is using in their efforts, the Amplification Project has identified ways to harness these resources for digital advocacy.
APN Follow-up Meeting on June 5
The Amplification Project also attended a follow-up meeting of roughly thirty APN supporters on June 5th. The meeting focused on a reflecting on the summit, as well as lobbying efforts the coalition is engaging in surrounding affordable housing and the foreclosure crisis. The APN was also kind enough to allow the Amplification Project a few minutes to give a brief introduction on what our goals are, and how we see ourselves working with the APN and other coalitions in the state. It was clear many people in the room were interested and excited about us.
After the meeting, the Amplification Project was approached by non-profit groups who are very eager to engage in digital advocacy, and we look forward to working with them to advocate on housing, hunger and employment issues in New Jersey. Non-profits interested in getting some immediate advice on digital advocacy can read the Digital Advocacy Blog while the Amplification Project gears up to offer technical training services. Our recent blog post on using data and research for digital advocacy will be helpful as the APN moves forward with its data-backed campaigns.