Procedures for Suggesting SAA Advocacy Action

HOW TO SUGGEST THAT SAA TAKE ACTION ON AN ISSUE

 

If you encounter an issue on which you think SAA should comment (or advocate for in another way), here’s how to bring that issue forward.

  • Review the SAA Public Policy Agenda to determine if your issue is included among the priorities outlined there. Use this review to note the types of issues that SAA addresses and also to ensure that your issue is not already being addressed. 
  • Gather as much information as you can on the issue.
  • Using the approved Overview template, prepare a brief (1- to 3-page) written overview of the issue that includes:
    • Statement of Facts: What is the issue? Have SAA or allied professions taken action on this or a similar issue in the past? If so, what was that action?
    • Discussion: Why is this issue important to archives and/or archivists? Does the issue fit within the priorities outlined in SAA’s Strategic Plan, Public Policy Agenda, or Code of Ethics? If so, where? If not, why should it be considered as a high priority outside of the Agenda? What are the pros and cons or implications of SAA taking a position or action (or not taking a position or action) on this issue?
    • Recommendation(s): What do you recommend that SAA do? Should SAA act alone in this, or should it seek support from one or more other organizations?
  • As you prepare your Overview, consider the following: If you were in a leadership position within the organization, what information would you need to make a good decision on behalf of SAA?
  • Consider whether there is an SAA component group (committee, board, working group, or section) that would have a specific interest or expertise in the issue that you are raising. Collaboration with one or more existing group(s) is encouraged because it could both avoid the potential for duplication of effort and assist you in gaining support for addressing your issue.
  • Contact the chair of that group(s) to determine if the group's leadership team is interested in collaborating with you to put the issue forward and draft or review an Overview.
  • On very urgent matters: Contact SAA Executive Director Jacqualine Price Osafo (jpriceosafo@archivists.org or 866-722-7858) so that she can help you take the issue directly to the SAA President, Executive Committee, or Council.

After you’ve raised your issue or concern:

  • The President, Executive Committee, or Council may ask for additional information, assessment, and/or recommendations from a component group, related professional associations, and/or experts on the specific topic or issue.
  • The leadership (either the Executive Committee or the full Council) will determine whether SAA should respond as an organization.
  • If the decision is made to issue a statement and/or take action: The Executive Committee or Council may designate a person or group to develop a statement of SAA’s position. (This is where your Overview can be extremely helpful when time is of the essence.) The Executive Committee will then review and approve the statement for public dissemination or determine that the statement should be reviewed and approved by the full Council before dissemination. The President (or the Executive Director on behalf of the President) will inform you or your group of the decision.
  • If the decision is made not to develop a statement and/or take action: The President (or the Executive Director on behalf of the President) will inform you or your group of the decision.

 

Whether or not SAA takes action on your issue or concern:

SAA members and groups have opportunities to inform or educate the broader SAA membership on the issue. See, for example:

  • The Issues and Advocacy Section’s Research Teams, Archivists on the Issues blog posts, and Advocacy Toolkit.

 

For a visual map of how suggestions for advocacy action navigate through SAA, see the SAA Advocacy Action Flowchart

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Let people know about your

Let people know about your letter. The likelihood of SAA acting on your recommendation increases as its number of supporters grows. Notify other SAA members, prominent people of the community, and news outlets about your letter. 

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Share your letter with others. The more people who support your suggestion, the more likely SAA is to take action. Share your letter with other SAA members, community leaders, and the media.

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If the Council or Executive Committee decides to take action on the issue, they will develop a more detailed plan for advocacy. This plan may include drafting letters to policymakers, organizing meetings with policymakers, or conducting public education campaigns.

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