Excerpted from page 25 of the November/December 2016 edition of AOA Focus.
All doctors of optometry and students can play a crucial role in supporting AOA's ongoing advocacy work.
Here are three simple ways to get involved:
- Become an AOA Federal Keyperson. Personal involvement in the political and legislative process is among the most important contributions AOA members can make to the profession. The Keyperson Program is an integral part of optometry's legislative strategy with a goal of connecting at least one volunteer keyperson to every member of Congress, serving as a conduit for the profession.
- Become an AOA-PAC investor. The AOA Political Action Committee (AOA-PAC) is one of the most effective ways for a doctor of optometry or student to participate in the political process, and through AOA-PAC, optometry has gained a national presence as a political force. Help keep optometry's voice heard in the nation's capital.
- Connect with your representatives. Reach out to your lawmakers and urge their support for AOA's top legislative priorities. Stay current with these latest issues by visiting the AOA Online Legislative Action Center, where doctors and students can find template letters to petition their representatives, legislative updates, and additional information on federal and state topics.
Connect with your represenatives. Connect with your Senators.
Doctors of optometry can get involved with advocacy at any stage of their career. Read about AOA-member advocates for optometry in the March 2016 edition of AOA Focus (member login required), and learn how you can get become one, too. Read about AOA's advocacy wins in 2016 in the November/December 2016 edition.
Congress’ Sept. 15 deadline for bill language passes with lawmakers backing key guardrails that AOA’s advocates say must be in place for a workable benefit. Yet, price tag developments may forestall efforts.
A September deadline means now is the time for AOA members to act. Attend an upcoming special advisory group session for the latest legislative information and contact your members of Congress.
The AOA continues its support of optometry students, advocating for a temporary suspension of student loan debt due to the pandemic, as well as a long-term avenue toward loan forgiveness and repayment.