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Grassroots advocacy: unlocking your relationships with key contacts.


One person working to raise awareness and build support for the apartment housing industry can have an impact. Many people working together can achieve exponentially greater gains.

When you speak to any elected official, whether it's on the federal, state or local level, lawmakers listen. Grassroots Advocacy365, the name of NAA's grassroots initiative, is individual citizens like you forming relationships with elected officials to communicate our issues that affect the industry.

Advocacy is about relationships, but it's also about education. Not many people, including lawmakers, know about the issues that affect our industry. What you have to say about public policy matters to elected officials. By being a grassroots advocate and sharing your stories and expertise, you put a human face on the issues, and remind them that their votes on legislation affect the lives of real people back home.

Gale Lively, citizen advocate and member of the of the NAA Key Contacts program, explains the power of grassroots advocacy: "Over the years, I have realized that oftentimes, I have been called upon as a resource of information by elected officials. Unlike a lobbyist, I am a first-person source of information. As a citizen advocate, we are the boots on the ground for the industry and I take pride in knowing that I am contributing to the strength of the apartment industry and our economy." Simply put, the facts, ideas and opinions that you, as industry experts, are able to share with lawmakers help them to make more informed decisions, so they can better represent you, the constituent.

Key Contact

An individual who helps influence the policy process at the local, state and federal levels by developing relationships with elected officials

By making contacts and meeting with your elected officials in several ways, you can become a trusted advisor when legislation is being considered.

Do you have what it takes to be a NAA Key Contact?

The survey is simple and only takes a few minutes to complete. Head to and take the new Key Contact Survey.

Peter Promknecht is NAA's Manager of Grassroots Advocacy. He can be reached at

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Title Annotation:political insider
Author:Fromknecht, Peter
Date:May 1, 2016
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