Illinois Connection to cultivate key contacts with legislators
The advocacy group wants the university to have a greater influence over legislation.
Illinois Connection, the Alumni Association’s grassroot advocacy initiative, is seeking notable alumni who have connections to key legislators to strengthen the University’s influence over state and federal legislators. Over the course of the next 2 years, the Illinois Connection will provide the alumnus with the tools to advocate for certain issues on behalf of the University of Illinois.
Presenting to the Board of Trustees on November 15, Vice President of Advocacy and Outreach Amy Eichhorst explains, “We know that we have a very strong grassroots network, and we will continue to grow that,” Eichhorst said. “We will actually ask [the alumnus] to be the key contact for [their[ legislator so that more and more legislators in the state are hearing about higher education and the University.”
Eichhorst continues, “The key issues that we are advocating for need to be clear and specific so that we are all on the same page. We are really getting sophisticated with this and making sure that we know what our alumni are going to ask for.”
This initiative differs from the letter writing campaigns and meetings with legislators Illinois Connection has asked for in the past. Eichhorst believes that utilizing influential alumni and their personal relationships will go one step beyond the advocacy the Alumni Association has accomplished in the past.
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