Legislative Proclamation Program
In 2004 the National Fibromyalgia Association established its Legislative Proclamation Program. The purpose of this outreach program is to get officials to declare May 12 as Fibromyalgia Awareness Day in their jurisdiction. Because of the efforts of numerous support groups and individuals, the NFA’s Legislative Proclamation Program has succeeded in bringing awareness to fibromyalgia at all levels of government, from mayors and governors to the president of the United States.
(Click here for a list of Proclamations that have been received.)
How the Proclamation Program Works:
To assist support groups and individuals in this effort, the NFA has created a variety of templates for use, including a proclamation, a request letter, a press release and a thank you letter. Additional resources and tips are also provided.
Click here to view sample letter.
Click here to view sample proclamation.
Identify the Government Official(s) to Approach:
Many support group leaders and individuals will contact more than one official and receive multiple proclamations. A support group leader in Orange County, California, for example, approaches every city mayor’s office and has received numerous proclamations over the years. The internet is one of the best ways to determine the officials in your city, state and federal government. The following is a list of potential officials to approach:
- City Mayors - Most cities now have a web site that list contact information
- State Officials - Visit your state’s web site; under “Legislators” enter your zip code to find your local representatives
- Federal Officials: Visit http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml
Contacting Government Officials:
Once you have determined the official(s) you would like to approach, contact their office about its proclamation procedures and find out who you should send the request letter and proclamation language to. Then modify the letter and proclamation to reflect your local information and mail with a Fibromyalgia Fact Sheet and a NFA Fact Sheet Be sure to include your contact information.
After you have sent the letter of request, wait three to five days and then call the person in charge of proclamations. Ask if the materials have been received and if there are any questions. Due to the amount of mail and requests received at governmental office, following-up is important as you may need to re-send or fax the documents.
Create an Event
Once the official/representative has agreed to do a Fibromyalgia Awareness Day proclamation, you'll need to determine the best place to receive the proclamation. It can be done in a public forum, such as a city council meeting, a support group meeting or a local hospital. Decide who will do the formal presentation; it could be the legislator, someone affected by fibromyalgia, a support group leader, a doctor---anyone who you feel best represents your local fibromyalgia community. Make sure to have the event at a place where many fibromyalgia patients and their families can be present.
Promote Your Event
Once you decide on the presentation time and place, contact your local newspaper, television and radio stations by customizing the Press Release sample. Contact several media sources and encourage the reporters to do a story on Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, the proclamation presentation, and/or your local support group. If you need a spokesperson to answer media questions about fibromyalgia and the NFA, call our main office at (714) 921-0150.
Your event is an opportunity to spread the word about fibromyalgia and its life-altering effects. Seize this chance to hand out educational information, such as the Fibromyalgia Fact Sheet. Additional materials are also available from the NFA. And most of all, have fun.
After the Presentation
Send your legislator and any media contacts a handwritten thank-you note for their time and help, following the event. They will appreciate hearing about how it helped you or your group. Be sure to also thank your proclamation team with perhaps a phone call or a personal note.
Click here to view sample thank-you letter.
Share your Success
The NFA takes pride in sponsoring this program every year and wants to hear your success stories. Please send a copy of your proclamation, any media coverage or pictures taken at your event.
Send your photos and stories to: email@example.com
If you need additional assistance, call the NFA’s main office at (714) 921-0150.