Advocacy Day 2019 Frequently Asked Questions

Advocacy Day 2019 Frequently Asked Questions


Here are some answers to come common questions we’ve received. My goal is for this day to go as smoothly for you as possible and to assuage any uncertainties that I can. If you have other questions, please email me at!

What is this “Advocacy Day”?

This is a day where you participate in macro social work. You’ll begin by learning about key issues then take that information and meet with your representative and senator to advocate for those issues. Thus, not only will you learn about macro social work, you’ll be doing it firsthand!

Where am I going?

Start your day at at the Madison Masonic Center (301 Wisconsin Ave., Madison, WI)

There are several parking structures close to the Masonic Center. The closest structure is the State Street Capitol Parking Ramp (214 N Carroll St, Madison, WI 53703).

Another option is the Dayton/Pinckney Ramp (E Dayton St, Madison, WI 53703).

There is extremely limited parking at the center itself so it’s strictly reserved for those require its use for accessibility.

After lunch, we walk to the 3 blocks away to meet with our legislators.

When should I be there?

Short answer? 8:00am – 9:00am

Longer answer: Registration (folder and agenda pick-up) is between 8:00am-9:00am. Please enter the building at the main entrance so you can walk right in for registration and breakfast.
*Please note there are no walk-in registrations at this event.

We recommend arriving earlier rather than later as it is a great time to network with other students from throughout the state.

Where should I park?

There are several parking structures close to the Masonic Center. The closest structure is the State Street Capitol Parking Ramp (214 N Carroll St, Madison, WI 53703).

Another option is the Dayton/Pinckney Ramp (E Dayton St, Madison, WI 53703).

There is extremely limited parking at the center itself so it’s strictly reserved for those require its use for accessibility. If this applies to you, use the ramp on Johnson Street near the Dyslexic Center to enter the Masonic Center.

When will I get my agenda?

When you register, you will receive a folder containing your full schedule for the day, position papers/fact sheets, and legislator biographies. The schedule will include which break-out sessions you will be attending, what time, and what room they are located in, as well as when and where you will meet with your State Representative and State Senator.

What is the schedule for the day?

9:00 – 10:00 am Keynote Address by State Representative Jonathan Brostoff – Auditorium

10:15-12:05 am Breakout Sessions:

10:15-10:45 am Breakout Session #1

10:55- 11:25 am Breakout Session #2

11:35- 12:05 pm Breakout Session #3

12:05- 1:15 pm Working Lunch (Sit with your Senate Districts, scroll down to learn more)

1:15 – 1:30 pm Walk to Capitol (Unless you have an earlier appointment)

Following the keynote address you will be attending three breakout sessions that you personally chose. These breakout sessions are an opportunity for you to learn from the fields’ best and become well informed in certain issues. Although you are only attending three breakout sessions, it is important that you are still knowledgeable about all six issues being presented at Advocacy Day. Those six issues include:

1)      The 2019-2020 Wisconsin State Budget
2)      Child Victims Act
3)      Redistricting (Gerrymandering)
4)      Caseload Size/Supervisory Ratio Bill
5)      Gun Violence Prevention Legislation
6)      Advocacy 101

All six fact sheets will be provided for you in your participant folders. It is important that you read them and be knowledgeable on them for your legislative meetings.


At the Masonic Center, many of the men’s rooms will be reclassified as women’s rooms and there will be at least one gender neutral restroom on the top floor. There is an accessible restroom on the bottom level close to the elevators. The capitol’s set up isn’t as 2019 friendly with gender, but there are elevators and accessible restrooms. If you have any specific concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Debra,

What is a “working lunch”?

During a working lunch you eat and get business done. In our working lunch, which is a sandwich bar with various meats, cheese, and veggie toppings, there are gluten free and vegetarian combinations available with a lettuce wrap. If you have specific dietary needs, you are welcome to bring your own lunch and snacks.

During lunch you will meet with other attendees from your State Senate district and have the opportunity to coordinate your advocacy efforts. We have already reached out and coordinated leaders from the larger districts. For those from smaller districts or anyone who is nervous about their legislative meetings, please reach out to Debra via email or phone (608)257-6334 and we would be happy to give some advice or even pair you up with someone that feels more comfortable speaking with legislators.

What are the legislative visits like?

In your meeting, your group will introduce itself as representatives of NASW and social workers and present the facts about the issues, encouraging the legislator to support our position. It’s important to ask the legislator or their staff how they will vote or if they feel our position is something they can get behind—i.e., the call to action, “what will you do about this?” When filling out the evaluation form, please indicate your legislator’s responses to what you talked about as this will help inform NASW of what to do next in political action.

Most advocacy visits to your legislators will take place at about 1:30pm and 2:30pm, depending on your district. However, you need to check your personal agenda for what time we were able to schedule your meeting. It is your responsibility to make it to each visit time.

Please attend your scheduled visit as appointments have been made specifically for you, by name and they are expecting you.  Again, if you are nervous, reach out to Debra at

Some of you will be speaking with legislative staff rather than the actual Legislator, this is completely normal and not any less important. The legislature will be in session, which mean legislators need to attend when the session is called.

Legislative staff advise their State Senator and State Representative on policy issues. Do not feel that your legislator is not interested in what you have to say if you meet with legislative staff. It is just as important that you meet with the legislator’s staff person as the legislator her or himself.   

I’m a group leader, what does that mean?

This means that you are essentially the spokesperson for your district—be it assembly or senate. All this means is, with the support of your group, you will do most of the talking. You are also responsible for picking up folders for your legislators and presenting them in the meeting. They will contain the same position papers/fact sheets about the issues that you have.

What’s a group leader? How to I become one?

A group leader is the spokesperson in the legislative meetings. For larger groups, group leaders have already been identified. If you want to be a leader, reach out to

I’m nervous about my meetings, what do I do?

Reach out! Debra, an intern with the NASW, is also a social work student and completely gets it. We have some volunteers to attend sessions with small groups or individuals who need them to go to meetings. Just need a pep talk or advice? We got you with that, too!

Just make sure you actually go to your meeting. We understand being nervous or intimidated, but in order to keep our profession’s and NASW’s clout up, it’s important that everyone attends their appointments. Just remember to breathe and that each legislator is a person just doing their job.

Do I need to attend my legislative appointments?

YES! See above. We’re here to help!

What do I do after the legislative visit?

It is crucial to the effectiveness of Advocacy Day that you attend your legislation meetings then fill out an evaluation form letting us know how they went and how your legislators feel about our issues. We will update where to do this once we have a room in the Capitol.

What do I wear?

Please remember to dress appropriately for the event. Dress formally, as you would for an interview. Business professional is highly encouraged. This means no jeans, sport shoes, sweat outfits, open-toed shoes, scrubs, etc.  

Social Media? YES, PLEASE! #naswwi

We encourage you to get involved with the event on social media. This is a great way to network with other students and attendees prior to the event on our Facebook page. We also encourage you to use our hashtag for the event as a fun and easy way to see others pictures, posts, and tweets about their experience. You can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

More Information:

We will be giving a series of announcements on Advocacy Day to keep you informed. However, because we know not everyone is an auditory learner, a copy of the announcements will be included in your folder with any updates sent via email shortly after they are made.

I still have questions.

Please email Debra at with any other questions you might have.