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To Begin a Plan for Advocating for Something in New Jersey

Public Advocacy

People helping people

People helping people

Public Policy and Developing a Communication Strategy

Have you ever thought about getting involved with some issues that you feel are being run unfairly through our government? One of the problems with getting involved I believe is that people are just too busy with their lives and their responsibilities and it's not that they don't want to be involved, they just don't have the time. Here are just some of the steps for anything you want to begin change with. It really does take the involvement of a lot of people and getting stakeholders together.

There is an executive branch and other types of institutional relationships that exist between branches of government, but typically the executive branch is the one responsible for implementing and administering the public policy that is enacted and funded by the legislative branch. (NCSL, 2022)

There are many different kinds of organizations, that want to make policy changes that help the people. They want to affect policy or change or take some action with the purpose to direct or prevent a policy change. (ICPA, 2022)

They usually have a primary audience of decision-makers, so they try to influence people who hold decision-making power. Sometimes, advocates can speak directly to these people in their advocacy efforts, in other cases, they need to put pressure on these people by addressing secondary audiences like advisors, the media, or the public. (ICPA, 2022)

There is a deliberate process of persuasive communication, so they are trying to get the target audiences to understand, be convinced, and take ownership of the ideas presented. Advocates try to make audiences feel the urgency to take action based on the arguments presented. (ICPA, 2022)

Trying to make policy change takes a long time, it takes patients and trying to change attitudes, opening up the negotiation table.

It is usually conducted by groups of organized citizens or organizations that have a cause.

This is all just basic; it takes a lot of work and dedication and being able to transfer the ownership of core ideas into the head and hands of people who can actually do something about it. (ICPA, 2022)

In New Jersey, there are three stages to the rule-making process, and these are the steps that my organization New Jersey Immigration Advocacy Justice would take.

Step 1: The Stakeholder Process. Outreach to the stakeholders is a very important part of rulemaking. New Jersey wants to see input from Department Staff, the regulated community, the Stae and local governments, etc. To determine which aspects of the current rule work and which could use some revision. Generally, at least one informal meeting with selected stakeholders is held, and the details for each meeting are posted on the Department’s website, including the agenda and list of attendees. (NJ. Gov, 2022)

Stage 2: The Proposal

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After getting feedback, the draft of the rule is written. A proposal includes an existing rule, with text marked showing all the proposed changes, a summary explaining the reason those changes are being requested to be made, and then there are “impact statements” which will include discussions that were had, be it about social, environmental, economic, jobs, agricultural industry, housing affordability, and smart development. The impacts the ruling would have and an analysis of regulatory flexibility, how it meets Federal Standards. (N.J.Gov. 2022)

That’s just a first draft. This is a long process of meetings at the statehouse, and it has to be distributed through the Department’s “rulemaking listserv. The proposal will also be sent to anyone who requested advance notice of the rulemaking.

Stage 3 Will be an adoption of the ruling. If the proposal is accepted and they adopt it, then the adopting document must be reviewed by the management of the other DEP programs., the Department attorneys, the Commissioner of the DEP, the Attorney General’s Office, the Governor’s office, and the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law. The adoption document will then be revised if needed.

Then the last thing on the agenda is taking the rule adoption and publishing it in the New Jersey Register. The rule text as amended will be posted on the Departments Rules and Regulations webpage under the Current Rules and Regulations table and a public notice of adoption will be provided on that same webpage. (NJ.GOV, 2022)

NJIAJ will hold meetings, with stakeholders, get petitions signed, and will be able to explain the pro’s against the cons of why a particular policy is being asked to be implemented. I have not been able to find the length of time it takes to market and advertise for each policy. I think one of the things I read said six months, and one of the posts I read said that it depends on what the policy is. I will look more closely into it, but since I have to have this in tonight, I ran out of time. If you know the answers to this question let me know but it is here in New Jersey.


NCSL: National Conference of State Legislatures; November 16, 2022,funded%20by%20the%20legislative%20branch.

Eoin Young and Lisa Quinn, 2022: Making Research Evidence Matter, A Guide to Policy Advocacy in Transition

State of New Jersey

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Tinamarie Panzera'Lazreg

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