How to Become an Animal Advocate

September 11, 2019

As the summer break for politicians comes to a close, you may find yourself wondering how you can make a difference for animals in our local and state government this fall. And where (and how) to start.

We’re here to help! And the good news is, the first step is easy: find out who represents you. You can search for your representatives by utilizing the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.

If you are in a nearby district of the Humane Society of Huron Valley, your Representative and Senator may be in the following list:
Ronnie Peterson (State Representative)
Donna Lasinski (State Representative)
Yousef Rabhi (State Representative)
Rebekah Warren (State Representative)
Jeff Irwin (State Senate)
Lana Theis (State Senate)

The Federal representatives for Michigan are as follows:
Debbie Dingell (US Representative)
Gary Peters (US Senator)
Debbie Stabenow (US Senator)

Once you know who your representatives are, it is important to understand how they vote, especially on animal welfare bills. Also, how have they voted on conservation, the environment, and even human welfare issues – there are many correlations with these policies and animal rights. Do their voting records align with your values?

To search by representative and view their voting records, Vote Smart can help.

After you’ve researched your representative’s voting history, you can better understand how they may vote on similar bills in the future. And our friends, Attorneys for Animals, can help too! Check out their legislative tracker to learn about proposed bills, understand their position in the lawmaking process, and much more.

Now you have all of the tools necessary to become an animal advocate! If there are bills you feel strongly about and want to voice your opinion on, be sure to call and email your representatives. Let them know how you feel, and why. Your representatives want to hear from you. They want to understand what’s important to their constituents. Calling them is a direct way to help change their mind, and to be sure your voice is heard.

But if calling isn’t enough, or if you prefer face-to-face contact, many representatives hold “coffee hours” – available times in the community where constituents can meet with representatives directly. You can contact your representative or subscribe to their mailing list to find out when their next coffee hour takes place. You may not be able to sit down for a one-on-one meeting, but you are able to ask questions and voice your opinion on upcoming legislation. A4 is planning to attend some of these coffee hours in the future, and we would love to meet other passionate individuals speaking on behalf of animals!

Though 2019 isn’t an election year, it is a great time to make your voice heard. Your representatives who are up for reelection in 2020 want to earn your vote. If they keep hearing that animal welfare bills are important to their constituent base, they will act on them.

We hope you consider becoming a hero and advocating for animals in your district, and our beautiful state of Michigan. Your voice matters!