Pre-Conference Session: Legislative Advocacy and Coalition Building

Whether its rallying on an important cause, advocating for certain legislation, or seeking appropriation for programs and services, the success of these activities come about as a result of a lot of hard work by a well-organized group engaged in legislative advocacy. This presentation focuses on the importance of coalition building to advocacy work, and how to organize in ways that can help you and your cause gain support from elected officials. We will also cover reliable ways of deciding on timely action, communicating that decision to everyone involved in the coalition, approaching lawmakers, and advocating systematically and effectively.

1) Learn how to design and implement a legislative advocacy campaign.
2) Identify the steps to building a coalition to support and strengthen your advocacy work.

Trish La Chica, MPA oversees the development of the Hawai‘i Public Health Institute’s legislative agenda as the Policy and Advocacy Director. Trish works closely with community advocates and coalition members to advance proposed legislation into law and improve the health of Hawaii residents. Prior to joining HIPHI in January 2016, Trish worked in Governor Ige’s Office in the healthcare innovation office. Trish has over 12 years of experience working on both state and federal policy solutions in public health, advocating particularly for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.

Jessica Yamauchi is the Executive Director of the Hawai`i Public Health Institute (HIPHI), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. HIPHI grew out of the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawai’i (CTFH) which was founded in 1996. Jessica has served as the executive director for HIPHI since 2012. Prior to becoming ED, she was the policy director for CTFH and worked on state and local tobacco control policies in Hawai`i. Since her tenure at HIPHI she has worked to pass several tobacco control policies, including raising the age of sale of tobacco products to 21 and including electronic smoking devices in Hawai`i’s state smoke-free air law. In addition to tobacco control work, Jessica has been the co-chair of the statewide obesity prevention task force (OPTF) since 2014. In 2019, OPTF passed two legislative policies: healthy by default – healthy beverages in kid’s meals and double up bucks, increasing access to healthy foods for SNAP beneficiaries. Jessica has served on the National Network of Public Health Institutes board of directors since 2016 and was elected as chair of the board in 2019. Jessica also serves as Vice President of the Hawai’i Public Health Association (HPHA) and serves on the University of Hawai’i, Office of Public Health Studies, Community Advisory Panel.