Virtual Hill Day of Advocacy – Prep Sessions
Recorded On: 09/03/2020
Members of Congress (U.S. representatives and senators) can best serve you, kids/families, and your CAC when they hear directly from you. As a CAC director, staff, board member, or member of an MDT, you help educate and update lawmakers by explaining to them how things are on the ground. These advocacy meetings are critical in helping Congress understand where federal resources are most needed and how they can best help local communities.
COVID-19 has changed or impacted every aspect of our daily life: from the way we serve kids and families to the way we interact with each other. And while Zoom and GoToMeeting calls can’t ever completely replace the impact of an in-person meeting, they do allow us to stay connected and informed.
With this in mind, NCA will be holding a Virtual Hill Day of Advocacy on September 9 so that CACs can connect with their members of Congress to update them on the impact the pandemic is having on their centers and the families that they serve. And to prepare for these meetings, NCA will be holding 2 webinar prep sessions to discuss what to expect at these meetings, CAC issues to highlight and answer any questions folks may have as they prepare for their meetings.
Director of Government Affairs
National Children's Alliance
Denise Edwards is director of government affairs for National Children’s Alliance (NCA), the national association and accrediting body for Children’s Advocacy Centers (CAC). As director of government affairs, Denise develops, coordinates and leads all federal and national legislative and public policy strategies for NCA and its members, including strategies to expand the use and awareness of CACs in the public policy arena. Prior to her tenure with NCA, Denise served as manager of government affairs for Dunkin’ Brands, Inc., representing the company and its more than 16,000 small business franchises before Congress and State/Local governments.
Denise began her Washington career working in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving, among others, as deputy chief of staff and legislative director for Rep. Bud Cramer; and on the legislative staff of Rep. Chet Edwards. Denise is a graduate of Baylor University, with a master’s in Public Policy Administration and a bachelor’s in Business Administration with a focus on financial planning.
State Government Affairs Officer
National Children's Alliance
Will Laird is the State Government Affairs Officer for the National Children’s Alliance, which is the national membership and accrediting body for Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) in the United States. Will is also a member of Charleston City Council in West Virginia’s capital city. Prior to joining NCA, Will worked for the West Virginia Legislature’s House Committee on Finance as a Senior Budget Analyst for over a decade. Having worked under both Democrat and Republican administrations, Will brings a wealth of experience to helping State Chapters of Children’s Advocacy Centers advocate for legislative changes that positively support child abuse victims and the CAC model. When he’s not at work, Will is an avid outdoor adventurer and loves to spend time with his wife, two boys, and his garden.