Political advocacy is the process of influencing the political realm, whether it be at the local, state, or national level, in support of or in opposition to a legislative action. Advocacy, also known as lobbying or government relations, involves gathering information, monitoring issues coming up for debate or vote, and disseminating an organization’s or individual’s opinion on a legislative matter.


Public participation and influence in the legislative process is extremely important. Any individual, corporation, or organization can lobby. Large lobbying groups have significant influence in the legislative process due to the sheer number of individuals they represent. However, a phone call from a constituent can sometimes be more powerful than a well-funded and organized group. Legislators want to hear from their constituents so they know how to best represent the interests of the people who they are elected to serve.


At its 34th annual conference, the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions focused on the challenge of securing adequate funding for public higher education. Public financial support for public higher education has eroded significantly over the past 20 years. The only way to reverse this trend is by lobbying to make higher education funding more of a priority.


As the collective bargaining agent for the full– and part-time faculty, coaches, librarians, and counselors at Connecticut State University, CSU-AAUP monitors all issues that could potentially affect the wages or working conditions for the membership and safeguards the principles of academic freedom and shared governance. In addition, CSU-AAUP and our lobbying firm, Betty Gallo & Company, continue to educate the members of the Connecticut General Assembly regarding such matters as teaching load, tenure, and student financial aid, among others.


In addition to meeting with key legislators on issues and providing testimony in support of or in opposition to legislative proposals, CSU-AAUP uses a number of different forms of lobbying, including:

Coalitions: CSU-AAUP lobbies with other organizations who share similar interests. CSU-AAUP is part of a larger state employee coalition called SEBAC (State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition), which advocates on behalf of all Connecticut state employees on health and retirement benefit matters. CSU-AAUP also partners with UConn-AAUP and the 4Cs (Congress of Connecticut Community Colleges) on issues that affect all public higher education in Connecticut.

Political Action Committee (PAC): CSU-AAUP uses a Political Action Committee to support candidates who are willing to work on our legislative priorities.

Faculty Advocates: No one is better at advocating on your behalf than YOU. AAUP leaders regularly meet with legislators and testify on legislative matters, and they will be encouraging and training more faculty members to perform these tasks for the upcoming session. The more individuals legislators hear from on any given issue, the more they pay attention to it. It is important that the membership speaks out on issues important to them, their colleagues, their institution, and their students. In addition, CSU-AAUP regularly asks for faculty support in calling or writing to their legislators at key times during the legislative session.