NASW Wisconsin Chapter Advocacy Day 2023 

Nearly 300 social work students and professionals participated in the 2023 NASW-WI Advocacy Day. They met with 32 of the 33 Senate and 79 of the 99 Assembly offices! The day started with Tanya Atkinson, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood, encouraging participants to use their social work skills to improve the lives of our clients. The morning moved into breakout sessions on the state budget, affordable housing, and raising the age of mandatory adult sentencing from 17 to 18 years old. There were also workshops on anti-racism, Anti-sexism, Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation legislation, proposals to address the licensing backlog, and a general workshop on advocacy.

Photo Gallery


Advocacy Day Capitol

Wednesday, April 12th, 2023, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Check in 8:00 - 9:00 am
Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center
1 John Nolan Dr., Madison, WI
and the
Wisconsin State Capitol
2 East Main St., Madison, WI

Keynote Speaker

Tanya Atkinson


Key Issues

  • Wisconsin State Budget - In this training, Kristin Schumacher, Research Director at Kids Forward, will present information on the impact of the state budget on children and families in Wisconsin, including taking Medicaid expansion monies, and how we can advocate for a budget that supports the most vulnerable residents of our state.
  • Raise the Age - In this training, Emily Coddington, Associate Director of Wisconsin Association of Family & Children’s Agencies, Inc will present information regarding the current state policy of referring 17-year-olds to adult court, and the campaign to end this policy.
  • Licensure Issues - In this training, NASW WI Executive Director Marc Herstand will present information on the current severe backlog in the processing of social work certification and licensure applications and the budget and policy proposals that could address this problem.
  • Anti-racism, Anti-sexism, Gender Identity & Sexual Orientation Legislation - In this training, NASW WI Executive Director Marc Herstand will present information regarding proposed state legislation restricting ant-racism & anti-sexism education in K-12 schools, WI technical colleges and universities and local and state government, as well as anti-LGBTQ+ legislation restricting discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in the public schools.
  • Affordable Housing - In this training, Emily Kenney, Director of Systems Change at Impact, Inc will present information regarding the Housing First program, which has been shown to be very effective in reducing homelessness.
  • Advocacy 101 - In this training, Jack O’Meara of O’Meara Public Affairs, LLC will discuss the basics of advocacy in the Wisconsin state legislature.
@nasw.wi T-4 days away from Advocacy Day! Here are 6 things to remember before the big day😌 #naswwiadvocacyday #naswwi #advocacyday #socialworkers #socialwork ♬ original sound - nasw.wi

schedule of events

● 8:00—9:00 Check in & Breakfast

● 9:00—10:00 Keynote Address

● 10:00—12:05 Breakout Sessions

● 10:15—10:45 Session 1

● 10:55—11:25 Session 2

● 11:35—12:05 Session 3

● 12:15—1:00 Lunch

● 1:30—3:00 Meet with Legislators at Capitol Building

● 3:00—4:00 Debrief

working lunch goals

Group Leader Responsibilities

  1. Ask the group to introduce themselves
  2. Facilitate discussion on the legislators
    1. Where are the connections?
  3. Establish the speakers for the Senate and Assembly meetings
    1. There are three Assembly districts
  4. Choose 2-3 topics to discuss with the legislators.
    1. Some legislators may want to discuss all of them
  5. Ensure the legislators receive the materials containing their factsheets on the issues

Group Responsibilities

  1. Establish connections and rapport with legislators
    1. Familiar with any organizations they are a part of?
    2. Committees they are on that connect with the issues?
  2. Be prepared to answer questions from your legislators
    1. Legislators like hearing from their constituents. Do not hesitate to speak up!
  3. Be professional
  4. Manage time to ensure a plan is made and the group arrives to the meeting on time


  • Some groups will be meeting with staff rather than the legislator. They are just as important
  • It is critical for the groups arrive to their meeting on time in respect for the legislator’s time
  • If some want an NASW-WI staff member to attend a meeting, please reach out to someone so arrangements can be made
  • If you become lost in the capitol, an NASW-WI staff person with a lime green name tag will be in the rotunda by the information desk to assist

Senator Bios

Rep Bios