Legislative Advocacy at IGNITE

What is legislative advocacy?

 

Political power includes amplifying voice and perspective to advocate for the issues you care most about. Via IGNITE young women receive training and hands-on advocacy experience. Participants learn:

  • the basics of why it is critical their voice is heard,
  • how to be an effective advocate, and
  • the ins and outs of their local and states’ lawmaking process.

 

IGNITE young women are championing policies that:

  • Protect women's rights
  • Maximize voter participation
  • Champion civic education for all students

 

Join youth-driven campaigns across the country.


IGNITE the Capitol Advocacy Days

Join us to show your political power! This includes amplifying your voices and perspectives to advocate for issues you care most about.
Prerequisite: IGNITE the Capitol participants must participate in a training in advance of the capitol visit. Contact the team member listed on the event to learn more about the pre-training. 

IGNITE the Capitol: Ohio

Friday, January 24, 2020 | 9:00 am to 3:00 pm | Ohio Statehouse, Columbus, OH

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IGNITE the Capitol: Washington

Thursday, January 30, 2020 | 8:00 am to 3:30 pm | Washington State Capitol Building, Olympia, WA

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IGNITE the Capitol: Georgia

Tuesday, February 4, 2020 | 9:00 am to 3:00 pm | Georgia State Capitol, Atlanta, GA

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IGNITE the Capitol: Colorado

Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 9:00 am to 3:00 pm | Colorado State Capitol, Denver, CO

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IGNITE the Capitol: Massachusetts

Thursday, February 27, 2020 | 9:00 am to 3:00 pm | Massachusetts State House, Boston, MA

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IGNITE the Capitol: Minnesota 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 | 9:00 am to 3:00 pm | Minnesota State Capitol, St. Paul, MN

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IGNITE the Capitol: Illinois

Thursday, March 19, 2020 | 7:00 am to 8:00 pm | Illinois State Capitol, Springfield, IL

 Register

IGNITE City Hall: New York City

Monday, March 23, 2020 | 9:00 am to 3:00 pm | New York City Hall, Manhattan, NY

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IGNITE the Capitol: California

Monday, March 30, 2020 | 9:00 am to 3:00 pm | California State Capitol, Sacramento, CA

High School Application College Application

California

Assembly Constitutional Amendment-4: Elections: Voting Age

Bill Summary: ACA-4 is a measure to allow 17-year-olds to vote in the primary if they are 18 by the general election. It is an effort to increase civic participation among young people and to encourage interest in the electoral process for a lifetime. Nearly a quarter of a million Californians who will be eligible to vote in the general election in November won’t be able to vote in the primary election March 3, according to an estimate based on Census Bureau dataSince young people typically have their first contact with the political process in their mandatory high school civics or government class, it’s the perfect time to engage them in the political process by making it possible for them to vote in the primaries. A change in primary voting age has the potential to drastically increase young voter turnout and voter retention, allowing young voters to get into the habit of civic engagement at an early age.

Update (August 26, 2019): The bill passed the Assembly with 58 votes and is now headed to the Senate. If the Bill passes the Senate, it will be placed on the November 2020 general election ballot. 

Bill Status Call Script Fact Sheet 


Georgia

HB 8: To create an exemption from state sales and use tax for certain menstrual products

Bill Summary: 46% of women had to choose between buying food or period products. One in four women struggles to afford period products due to the high cost and taxes. Thirty-three states currently tax period products, calling them "non-essential" or "luxury" items. Menstrual health products are not tax-exempt in Georgia even though they are deemed medical necessities by the Federal Drug Administration. HB8 recognizes that essential feminine hygiene products for women need to be made more affordable and accessible.

Bill Status How to contact your legislator 

HB 5: To prohibit an employer from relying upon salary history information when making certain decisions about an applicant during the hiring process

Bill Summary: No employer shall rely on the salary history of an applicant in determining the wages, benefits, or other compensation for such an applicant during the initial hiring process, including the negotiation of an employment contract. This bill will help narrow the gender wage gap. Gender discrimination can be perpetuated if a woman is paid less than a man doing the same job and a new employer bases her pay on her prior salary.

Bill Status How to contact your legislator 


Illinois

HB 0922: Provides that a school district shall make feminine hygiene products available, at no cost to students, in each bathroom of every school building

Bill Summary: Feminine hygiene products are a health care necessity and not an item that can be foregone or substituted easily. Access to feminine hygiene products is a serious and ongoing need in this State. When students do not have access to affordable feminine hygiene products, they may miss multiple days of school every month. When students have access to quality feminine hygiene products, they are able to continue with their daily lives with minimal interruption.

Bill Status How to contact your legislator 


Massachusetts

H.2711 | S.1878 - Act to Ensure Gender Parity on Public Boards and Commission  

Bill Summary: Women and people of color account for 51.5% and 28% respectively of the states’ population, but remain underrepresented in positions of leadership among our public, taxpayer-funded boards and commissions. Massachusetts leads the nation in human talent, and our pipelines are replete with women and people of color who are ready to serve. Yet the data shows we have a long way to go in order to reach gender parity and increased representation of people of color on our state boards and commissions.

The bill will ensure that beginning on and after January 1, 2022, the composition of each appointed public board and commission in Massachusetts shall broadly reflect the general public of the Commonwealth, including persons of different backgrounds, abilities, interests, and opinions, including ethnic minorities, and shall have not less than 50% women board members or commissioners.

Bill Status Call Script Fact Sheet Letter of Support 

H.639 | S.408 - An Act Supporting Parents Running for Public Office

Bill Summary: Having a young family is a barrier to running for office in Massachusetts. For many working parents, most notably women and women of color, running a campaign without childcare support is not feasible. By ensuring that campaign funds may be used to pay for relevant and reasonable childcare expenses, we are removing an important obstacle for all parents who seek to serve in public office. 

Fourteen states in the US allow campaign funds to be used for childcare that are directly related to the campaign and that would not exist irrespective of the candidate’s campaign. The proposed legislation in Massachusetts would amend the current campaign finance law to cover childcare expenses. Candidates who incur expenses relating to the provision of childcare services would be allowed reimburses these expenses with campaign funds that they have raised.

Bill Status Call Script Fact Sheet Letter of Support 


New York

Int. 1536-2019: Reporting on Title IX

Bill Summary: This bill would require the Commission on Gender Equity (CGE) to include information about Title IX compliance in the City and in schools in its annual report, which is due on December 1 each year and also requires CGE to report on its activities over the previous twelve months, goals for the following year, and recommendations to advance gender equity in the City.

Update (August 26, 2019): The bill was sent to the Higher Education Committee and will now require a vote by the committee, followed by the City Council’s final vote at a subsequent Stated Meeting.

Bill Status Call Script 


Ohio

SB 92: Revise enforcement of prohibitions against wage discrimination

Bill Summary: The bill adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the continuing law list of classifications on which basis an employer may not discriminate in the payment of wages to employees.

Bill Status Fact Sheet How to contact your legislator 

SB 117: Require hospitals to provide certain services to sexual assault victims

Bill Summary: Establishes a standard of care for certain hospitals when caring for victims of sexual assault and requires that certain services and information on emergency contraception, sexually transmitted infections, and follow-up care be provided.  Requires a hospital to comply with the standard of care for sexual assault victims without regard to the ability of a particular victim to pay for the care provided.  Permits a victim who is a minor to consent to the services without requiring the hospital to notify the minor’s parent or guardian.  Authorizes an individual to file a complaint with the Department of Health if the individual believes a hospital has failed to comply with the bill’s standard of care for victims of sexual assault.

Bill Status Fact Sheet How to contact your legislator 

SB 91: Establish family and medical leave insurance benefits

Bill Summary: Creates the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program to provide 12 weeks of family and medical leave insurance benefits during a 12-month period to an individual to address the individual’s serious health condition, to care for a family member, or to bond with a new child.

Bill Status Fact Sheet How to contact your legislator 


Washington State 

House Bill 1053 "Tampon Tax"

Bill Summary: Essential feminine hygiene products are unaffordable for many Washingtonians and as a first step, removing taxes to for these products will help to alleviate the issue. According to the State Department of Revenue, women in Washington still pay over $5 million annually in taxes on tampons, sanitary napkins, and menstrual cups. Washington currently exempts the sales tax for prescription drugs and food items that are deemed necessities. Menstrual health products are not tax exempt in Washington even though they are deemed medical necessities by the Federal Drug Administration. Feminine hygiene products are not a luxury and women should not be penalized.

Update (May 17, 2019): This bill will move forward in the legislative process in 2020. Because of IGNITE women's advocacy, the bill has moved the furthest it has then in past legislative sessions and we will continue to champion this bill in the next session.  

IGNITE Testimonial: 

"IGNITE's Seattle College Council decided to fight against the tampon tax because women's basic needs should not be economically exploited. The fact that tampons and diapers are taxed while Viagra is not is evidence of the gender disparity within American politics. Intentional or not, a tax on tampons gives cis-men the power to regulate our bodies. The tampon tax is an economic burden to anyone who menstruates, including trans-men, while it disproportionately hurts poor women of color."

- Louie Tan Vital, IGNITE Seattle Fellow, sharing why her College Council selected HB 1053

Sign the statement of support Advocacy toolkit for HB 1053 Bill Status Call Script 


Past Efforts & Success Stories

2019-2020 Program Year

California Assembly Bill 963 - Public postsecondary education: Student Civic and Voter Empowerment Act This bill will become law. Learn more.

2018-2019 Program Year

Colorado Senate Bill 7: Prevent Sexual Misconduct at Higher Ed Campuses This bill has been signed by the Governor. Campuses will have until August 2020 to adopt sexual misconduct policy for enrolled students. Learn more

California Assembly Bill 31: Tampon Tax The bill will move forward in the legislative process but the Governor has included funding for the exemption in the May Revision of the budget proposal, a good sign for the tax exemption to become law in June when the Governor signs the budget bill. The tampon tax exemption was included in the budget, not AB 31 specifically. Learn more.

Texas House Bill 375: Voting Accessibility for College Students The bill was referred to the elections committee but never received a hearing before the deadlines. IGNITE women will continue to advocate for voter access in Texas and in the interim will continue to educate legislators and community members. Learn more.


Write The Rules

Politicians have the power to make their opinions a reality. So do you.