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For Parents: Learn the Lingo

Learn the Lingo

Congratulations! You’ve taken your first step towards becoming an advocate. In order to effectively advocate, you’ll need to know a few things. Getting familiar with key advocacy terms and types is a great way to get started.

Crystal Garrett attending the White House summit on Climate Change

Crystal Garrett (in the middle) attending the White House summit on Climate Change. She is an active M&O advocate for clean air. She is pictured with American Lung Association CEO and President Harold Wimmer.

Key Terms

Advocacy
Advocacy is a term that involves identifying, embracing and promoting a cause.

Amendment
An amendment is a change to a bill or motion, sometimes replacing the entire bill. An amendment is debated and voted on in the same manner as a bill.

Bill
Legislation drafted for consideration by the legislature.

Committee
A group of legislators that develops legislation on specific topics and has jurisdiction over all legislation that deals with its topic.

District
The district is the geographic area from which an official is elected.

Lobbying
Lobbying is a special form of advocacy with the purpose to educate lawmakers and influence legislation.

Hearing
A hearing is a meeting or a session where evidence to support particular viewpoints can be presented to a committee or regulatory agency. A hearing occurs when considering a specific bill, conducting an investigation, evaluating a government department’s activities, or exploring topics of interest. Speakers can include experts on a specific topic or members of the public who the bill or issue would impact.

House
Also known as the House of Representatives it is the lower body of the Congress and most state legislatures. Elected members represent a geographic district.

Senate
The Senate is Congresse’s upper body. Each state has two U.S. Senators, elected at-large, to serve six-year terms.