Student Lobby Day

 

At the beginning of every year, the Legislative and Governmental Affairs Committee of GAMFT hosts Student Lobby Day.  Historically held in February, MFT students and faculty, along with GAMFT leadership meet up in downtown Atlanta in a facility near the Georgia Capitol Building.

Lobby Day typically opens with an intensive workshop and information session where attendees learn how a bill moves through the Capitol to become a law, the “ins and outs” of how to lobby, as well as the current bills that are pertinent for family therapists in the state. Afterward, participants head across the street to meet their Legislators, and end the day with a tour of the Capitol.

In 2020 GAMFT offered 2 hours of continuing education credit as an incentive to interested licensed and associate MFTs working in the field. If you are a voting Georgia resident, and want to learn more about this process, please consider attending next year.

The last two years have garnered around 40 attendees!

Keep a lookout Lobby Day 2021! There is no cost to attend. Check out the testimonials below!

2020 Lobby Day flyer announcement

 

 

Testimonials:

 

Getting a chance to meet some of the established and prominent board members of GAMFT was so rewarding.
– Prentiss Bacon

The GAMFT members did a great job of simplifying the bill to law process during the briefing.
– Jessica Cid

Lobby day was an exciting experience. Before attending, I did not understand the importance of getting involved politically. I also did not realize how much more work we as MFTs must do in order to be respected in the same way as fields such as Social Work and Clinical Psychology. I learned a lot about how bills get passed, how to go about lobbying, and how we as therapists should strive to create change in and out of the therapy room. As a result of this experience, I will continue to advocate for our field, research policies and laws, stay up to date with what is happening in the political portion of our field, and attempt to attend lobby day next year in order to apply everything I learned.
– Chyna Doughty

My first Lobby Day experience was very eye opening and surprisingly fun. Since I am not into politics, I assumed that I would have lost interest throughout the event but it was very informative and increased my love for advocacy.
– Armani Duffie

My Lobby day experience was informative and encouraging at the same time…Overall, as MFT’s it is our right to fight for those that need help, and to advocate for the MFT profession,
and from this experience I learned just how important that is for the present and future MFT’s.
– Asia Dukes

The process of lobbying in the Capital Building in Atlanta was a great experience. It was incredibly educational and showed me how important advocacy for your clients is. Understanding how crucial mental health support is and realizing how little people receive it is disappointing, and after my first experience, I hope to continue political advocacy for my clients in the future.
– Alden Gillespie

Attending Lobby Day was one of those life altering experiences you know will put you on a different trajectory moving forward. My experience has made me want to get more involved, even though I have all these assignments, papers, and ‘life’ coming up. Learning how to talk to my busy representatives and process of a bill, walking around the capitol, sitting-in on decisions of bills being passed, and soaking up the knowledge of those around me is indescribable. I only hope this fire I feel to advocate, learn, and keep the door open for future MFT politicians continues as I enter my profession as a licensed MFT therapist in Georgia.
– Tommy Hampton

My experience at lobby day was amazing, I felt as though I had a purpose for being there and by me speaking to my representatives I was making a difference in the Marriage and Family Therapy world.
– Kasie Johnson

This experience helped me realize that the connection that MFTs have to the political sector especially in Georgia. I have learned why it is important to be an advocacy for the community I live in as well as the field I plan to work in when I graduate. It is helpful to know what’s happening in the profession, and how I can make a difference. It has also made me curious to learn about what’s happening in other states and on the national level. I am happy that I was granted the opportunity to have this experience, and I encourage others to get more politically involved as well.
– Parrish Kent

Lobby day made me aware of the profound effect certain policies have on our lives as marriage and family therapists and the individuals and families we have the privilege of serving. As marriage and family therapists we must become involved by knowing which policies exist and advocate for positive change.
– Patti Moynihan, MA

I am now aware of how much more I need to be informed and inclined to political matters that affect the mental health field and families.
– K’Nyia Trimble

After spending the day at the Capital, it was intrigued me to learn more about politics in relation to our field. It amazed me the processes the GAMFT goes through for us to have certain laws.
– Vee Williams

I began to see how vital it is as a professional to participate in lobbying and legislative process that affect our profession.
– Heather Maldonado