PEG leaders believe that advocacy (e.g., public policy, public education, community mobilization) is one of the most important means of achieving long-term change—and is a core democratic responsibility. PEG’s founder is a former congressional press secretary and later community organizer; various other PEG team members have served in policy and community advocacy roles, and supported both “grassroots” and “grass tops” advocacy work.
In 2009, John Newsome supported the Transgender Law Center (TLC) in the development of its first-ever strategic plan, which deepened TLC’s regional and national advocacy and “institutional change” efforts. In TLC’s subsequent annual report, Executive Director Masen Davis wrote: “This process helped TLC determine that we need to proactively focus on two core areas—economic justice (including employment and access to social services) and health coverage and access. While TLC will continue to prioritize [other areas], these decisions are meant to ensure that our work effectively supports institutional changes that will positively impact all members of our community.”
In 2012, the PEG team helped the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Network design a CDC-funded technical assistance and capacity-building program for statewide gay-straight alliance organizations committed to LGBT youth health and wellness. Also in 2012-2013, the PEG team helped GLIDE Memorial Church launch a formal “advocacy team” composed of staff from across the institution. In close consultation with legal experts, PEG and GLIDE developed internal advocacy guidelines designed to maximize GLIDE’s policy “voice” within the constraints of a 501(c)(3) organization and developed and implemented an electoral advocacy “pilot” campaign (initiative endorsements, leadership training, phone banking, precinct walking, public events, op-eds, social media, and more).
Since winter 2014, PEG has supported Espacios Abiertos via strategic planning, implementation support, and assessment, in service of its goal “to develop the collective power of Puerto Ricans to advocate for change and social justice.”