Speak Up for Kids Day Frequently Asked Questions

What is on the Speak Up for Kids agenda?

Speak Up for Kids will look a little different in 2023. While we are returning for an in-person event, we will not be at the Capitol lobbying. This year, the event will be hosted at the History Colorado Center and will focus on providing tools for advocates to use throughout the legislative session.  Speak Up for Kids will include a visit from state officials, tips for effectively communicating with legislators, an overview of key bills for the legislative session, and time for practicing your message with policymakers.

Who should attend Speak Up for Kids?

Anyone who wants to be a voice for children in our state: parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers, educators, providers, students, non-parents—you name it! Anyone who cares about creating a healthy and nurturing future for Colorado children is welcome. We especially encourage new participants to join in Speak Up for Kids.  

I have a lot of advocacy experience. Should I still attend?

Yes! While our primary focus is on emerging child advocates who do not have much experience with policy advocacy, there are always new policies and skills that folks can learn about. Plus, if you are tired of being virtual for the past few years, we encourage you to join us for this year’s in-person event!

I know very little about the legislature. Should I still attend?

Yes, please! The primary purpose of this event is to help people with little to no legislative experience learn that they really do have the power to make a difference. We will provide training materials before you arrive and offer teaching and practice sessions throughout the event to help you feel well equipped to speak with your legislators.

How should I prepare for Speak Up for Kids?

Come prepared by knowing who your legislators are and what they stand for. We will give you some of this information before the event, along with tips for effectively communicating with legislators, and an overview of relevant current legislation. You can research your elected officials any time to get a head start. Great resources for this are www.votesmart.org and leg.colorado.gov. The more you know about your legislators, the easier it will be to establish a relationship with them when you meet face to face.

Will you provide childcare?

Though we are not able to provide childcare onsite for event participants, we do have a limited amount of financial support available for those who need it. Please indicate on your registration form that you are interested in child care assistance and a staff member will follow up with you.

What if I don’t agree with all of the policy positions that Speak Up promotes?

Part of what makes democracy work so well is the wide array of viewpoints we collectively bring to the table. While we all want what is best for kids, we may not agree 100% of the time on the best approach. If you come to Speak Up for Kids but do not agree with all of our policy positions, we ask that you speak up for the causes you believe in, but do not speak out against our initiatives.

I live outside the Denver metro area, how can I be part of Speak Up?

Speak Up for Kids is a successful event because of the participation of advocates from across the state. Legislators listen more closely when they hear from constituents who live in their district, and our goal is to speak effectively with as many legislators as possible about the importance of kids’ issues. Thus, we have a limited amount of financial support available for mileage reimbursement for participants traveling longer distances to participate. Please indicate on your registration form that you are interested in travel assistance, and a staff member will follow up with you.

I work for a nonprofit, can I still participate in Speak Up for Kids?

Speak Up for Kids is hosted by two nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations-Clayton Early Learning and the Colorado Children’s Campaign-and the vast majority of our participants come from nonprofit organizations, as well. Different nonprofits have different levels of comfort with advocacy and lobbying activities, and may operate with varied expectations. It is always best to talk with your supervisor or board of directors to ensure you understand your organization’s advocacy guidelines. 

My organization would love to be part of Speak Up for Kids, how can we be involved?

We rely on fellow nonprofit organizations to help spread the word about Speak Up for Kids and guide participants through the lobbying process. Thanks to the support of our partners, Speak Up has established a strong reputation over the years. To learn more about how to become involved in the 2023 event, visit claytonearlylearning.org/speakup.

I have more questions about Speak Up, who can I talk to?

If you have any questions that have not been addressed here, contact Riley Kitts at riley@coloradokids.org.