Thank you for taking an interest in our yearly proclamation drive to raise awareness of myeloma. This is a first step in the process. Our goal is to draw attention to larger pieces of legislation, like oral parity bills, at the state and federal level to help patients access the treatments they need. The relationships advocates form with their representatives while working on proclamations is a great way to move these important efforts forward in the future.
Because of your hard work to raise awareness, IMF Advocacy made record progress in advancing the priorities of myeloma patients in the 115th Congress (2017-2018). Your efforts resulted in myeloma researchers becoming eligible to receive Department of Defense research dollars and oral parity legislation (which would help patients access their oral chemotherapy drugs) reaching a record number of supporters!
With the start of the 116th (2019-2020) Congress, we begin our efforts again. All bills must be reintroduced, and support must be reestablished. As we prepare for the reintroduction of these important initiatives to help patients, we ask for your help in advance. Please sign up for our advocacy newsletter and alerts. We will keep you updated as things progress and reach out to you as items come in, we need your help with.
Senior Director, Public Policy and Advocacy
How to Pass a Local Resolution or Proclamation for Myeloma Action Month
Having your hometown, county or state declare March as Myeloma Action Month is much simpler than you may think. It requires your town or county council to pass a non-binding resolution. We can walk you through this easy step-by step process:
1. Determine What Steps are Needed
For many state level proclamations, simply asking for a proclamation is all that is required. If your state is one these, there is no reason not to ask
2. Find a Champion in your Local Government to Introduce the Resolution
If a resolution is required, you will need to have a government official to shepherd the resolution through the process. Ask other members in your support group if they know someone who could be helpful (council member, mayor, state legislator, etc). Or partner with a local hospital, wellness center or another cancer support group to ask if they have any allies at that level of government. If not, you may need to do some research.
3. Contact your Champion
Once you identify the government official to lead the charge, find people who live in his/her district. Every governing body has their own path to getting measures passed. You will want to ask for the timeline in their governing body and if there are any other members you should speak to before a vote to ensure passage. Take any necessary actions promptly and report to the sponsor if necessary.
4. Day of the Hearing
The Support Group Leader, or whoever has taken on leading this effort for yourgroup, should make sure to sign up to speak during the public comment portion of the meeting. It is a good idea for the speaker to have a written statement. The speaker should briefly explain whom they represent (IMF and the name of the support group), why they support the resolution and the importance of it to thecouncil members and community/state.
It is important to develop a list of media contacts to be used to publicize the proclamation once it is made. Once you know theproclamation will be signed, make sure any and all MAM events are publicized in the media. Publicity is the way to make your community more aware of Multiple Myeloma. It will also show those who voted for the resolution you are grateful to them and you are taking action on the measure they spent time passing for you. We will provide you with a generic press release that you can customize and submit to local papers
Let Your Voice Be HEARD
Advocacy is the act of supporting a cause or idea. It involves speaking out on issues that you care about and offering ways to improve upon them.The only way we can make a difference is to TAKE ACTION!