Introduction to Citizen Advocacy

What is Citizen Advocacy?   

Citizen Advocacy programs recruit and introduce people into voluntary relationships, and then provide support to them. In each one to one relationship, one partner has some type of impairment.

Citizen Advocacy is Important for People with Impairments 

People with impairments are vulnerable and often limited in representing their own interests. Advocates are encouraged to provide protection and advocacy as opportunities and needs arise. Citizen advocate action, much like family member action, is based on personal knowledge of and commitment to a vulnerable individual.

Citizen Advocacy is Important for Others

People with impairments have gifts and talents to share with their advocates and others in their communities.

People reaching out to each otherold-fashioned neighborlinessis an important part of community.

People forming relationships with others who are seemingly quite different is a genuine way of acting on beliefs about valuing and respecting all people.

People from different parts of a community teach each other about their lives, their community, and their society.

What Do Partners in Relationships Do? 

Citizen Advocacy Can Start in Your Community 

Hearing about the Citizen Advocacy idea is the first step in starting a new program. A few local citizens who are stimulated by the idea can decide to learn more about how Citizen Advocacy programs get set up and operated. With study and hard work, a Citizen Advocacy program can be started in your community.

Massachusetts Citizen Advocacy Can Help

Massachusetts Citizen Advocacy is a new organization to develop and support Citizen Advocacy programs. People from Massachusetts can contact Tom Doody or Sue Gatautis at (978) 249-7769 for further information.

July, 1999