Hoosier Youth Advocacy was founded on a strong belief in the importance of civic involvement and participation by young Indiana citizens. To achieve these ends, we have designed a model for providing members with an understanding of the state legislative process so they are better equipped to advocate on behalf of their own interests and those of their peers.
Everything we do starts with research. HYA members research policy issues ranging from general education to juvenile sentencing and are encouraged to form independent opinions on these subjects. Based upon a consensus of the members and the substance of the research gathered, HYA will form its position on issues as an organization during regular meetings of the membership. From there, members will develop a plan regarding the most effective way to market that position to policymakers and the public. At this point in the process, we will need to determine our allies, champions, and obstacles moving forward.
This is when we begin what we like to call “indirect advocacy,” in which we write letters and news articles, plan events, hold meetings with relevant policy experts, and raise awareness. This is where you come in. As a member of HYA, you will be involved in these processes, laying the groundwork for achieving real political change.
The other part of what we do is aptly labeled “direct advocacy,” which involves preparing analysis and arguments that are then presented by HYA members in testimony at the General Assembly. Though testimony is a limited opportunity, all of the research and groundwork that precedes it are essential for effective advocacy.
Interested? Getting involved is as simple as contacting one of the members listed on the “Contact Us” page of our website. If there is an established HYA chapter in your area, we can put you into contact with members there who will help you get started. If there is not an HYA chapter in your area, then we encourage you to start one.
Though everyone should follow legislation which has the potential to impact Indiana youth, there is much more to be done: legislative research, position development, raising awareness, etc are all essential elements to balanced, informed advocacy.
If you are a young Hoosier with something to say, join us in making sure that your voice is heard.