Money makes cancer research possible, and lawmakers control important funds, which can be directed to cancer research at the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense and other agencies. That makes legislative advocacy a powerful tool for those who want to make a difference on behalf of young women affected by breast cancer.
Making Laws Work for Us
Advocates can ensure the government takes our needs into account as it shapes research through funding. As a constituent of your federal and state representatives, you bring an influential voice. Your personal story makes a powerful statement. When we meet legislators, we send the message that breast cancer not only affects their mothers and grandmothers but their friends, colleagues, wives, daughters, cousins, staff and interns. They realize that breast cancer can happen to any woman, regardless of age. You can focus your representative’s efforts on meaningful change that will make our communities and lives better and stronger.
You can add your voice to effective efforts by joining one of many organizations working on breast cancer issues. These groups have legislative agendas that aim to improve the lives of survivors. When choosing an organization, think about the issues they promote. Ask yourself if that issue will make a significant change in the status quo for many people.
Since 2002, YSC has served on the board of the premiere advocacy group for breast cancer, the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC). NBCC has helped make real and meaningful changes on behalf of all women affected by breast cancer. Since 1998, they have raised more than two billion dollars in federal funds to create the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, a vital center for breast cancer knowledge.
Legislatively, NBCC succeeded in enacting the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Protection Act and played an instrumental role in the Healthcare Reform Law, ensuring that a consumer’s voice helped shape the bill. Visit the NBCC website to take part in their meaningful efforts.
Resources to Assist your Legislative Advocacy
It’s important to learn where your legislators stand on breast cancer issues. Ask them to support legislation that is important to you, and be sure to thank them when they do.
- Find out who your representatives are at house.gov and senate.gov
- View the status of legislative bills by going to congress.gov
- Keep track of how your representatives vote by going to vote-smart.org or rollcall.com
- Get background information on your legislator’s position at NBCC’s report on Congress' voting record
- Visit the Library of Congress website
Legislative Contact Information
- Capitol switchboard: 202.224.3121
- The President of the United States: 202.456.1414 or email@example.com
- The Vice President of the United States: 202.456.2326 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Register your opinion on an issue: 202.456.1111
- Whether a Bill is signed or vetoed: 202.456.2226
- Library of Congress, congressional research: 202.707.5700