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Save the Date: 2024 Advocacy Days in Richmond

Join us and other allies to advocate for parents and children during the 2024 Virginia General Assembly. Families Forward Virginia is organizing two Advocacy Days in Richmond VA for staff, allies, advocates, parents, and families to meet with their elected officials in person and advocate for better services and systems for all Virginia families. These advocacy days are hosted by our partners at the YWCA of Richmond VA.

Home Visiting/Maternal Health Day

Wednesday January 24th | 8:00 AM - 2:30 PM YWCA of Richmond VA (6 N 5th St, Richmond, VA 23219)

Child Abuse/Family Violence Prevention Day

Tuesday January 30th | 8:00 AM - 2:30 PM

YWCA of Richmond VA (6 N 5th St, Richmond, VA 23219)

Save the date, registration is not open yet. Paid parking is plentiful near the YWCA. There is a large public parking lot at the corner of 5th and E. Cary streets. A parking deck on 5th Street across from the YWCA. There is also a parking lot at 4th and E. Franklin streets. You can find more parking options on this map ( Welcome to the Virginia General Assembly Website.

Breakfast will be provided along with some basic training and information about how to talk to your legislators. Then you will leave the YWCA in groups and walk to the Va General Assembly. Wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers. Dress is business casual. When you enter the General Assembly building, you will have to go through security and a metal detector. You can bring a phone and liquids with you, but they will have to go through a screening machine. Do not bring any knives or weapons with you. You can learn more about security at the Va General Assembly by visiting this link (Welcome to the Virginia General Assembly Website.)

While at the General Assembly you will visit with your State Senators and Delegates. You can and should visit with them as a group because many of you may be represented by the same State Senator or Delegate. We will look up for you who your State Senator and Delegate are. This information will be available and given to you when you arrive at the YWCA for your advocacy day. You can also look up this information yourself on this website Who's My Legislator? (

Save this website on your phone (HOD Navigation - VA House of Delegates ( it is an easy way to look up a map for where your Delegates office is. The packet we give you in the morning contains talking points to help you talk to your legislator. You should leave a copy with your legislator when your meeting is complete. Don’t forget to take pictures with them when your meeting concludes! For more information on how to advocate, visit this link: Voices-Advocacy-Guide-2016-PAGES.pdf (

Tips for talking to your legislator:

  • State the purpose of your visit. Briefly describe the issue(s). Be upfront if you are asking for something specific, such as support or opposition to particular legislation.

  • Make the issue local and relevant. Discuss the issue from your local perspective – how it affects his or her district and voters. Use local statistics, stories, and fellow constituents to support your issue. Mention if you are a constituent.

  • Personalize the issue. Describe why the issue is important to you or to those you represent—the more personal, the more he/she will pay attention.

  • If you are a local government employee, and are not allowed to advocate, stick to providing technical assistance. You are allowed to explain how home visiting works, how many people you serve, what their needs are, and what barriers are hurting them and their kids. Do not ask them to vote for or against anything, just explain how your local home visiting program works and answer any questions the elected official may have.

  • Be a good listener. Let your legislator ask questions as you present your viewpoint and answer them knowledgeably and factually. You do not have to agree with his/her views, but you should show that you are willing to hear them. Ask if he/she has any questions for you.

  • Ask how you can be helpful. Show interest in issues of con[1]cern to your legislator and offer your assistance when possible.

  • Stay on topic. Be careful not to let the meeting stray off course. Let the legislator make comments, but don’t let him/ her avoid the issue. Tactfully bring the conversation back on track.

  • Thank your legislator for his or her time. Being courteous keeps the door open for future dialogue.

  • Leave materials. If you have a business card, leave one with your legislator and/or the legislative aide. Leave copies of your one-page fact sheet or other written materials.

Your meetings with legislators will wrap up around 11:30 AM. You will then walk back to the YWCA for Lunch together. During Lunch we will debrief and ask you to share your experiences with each other. Following lunch, you are welcome to go home! If you want to make a few more visits to the General Assembly, you can head back to continue your advocacy.

Your voice is so important and together we are going to strengthen Virginia’s families.


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