Legislative Education & Advocacy Day


At NASW-Oklahoma, we believe every social worker is a leader and will have a positive impact on society. The NASW-OK LEAD Event encourages students to bring their ideas and research beyond the classroom and begin making an impact on Oklahoma by sharing experiences and knowledge with their peers and community through brief presentations and poster presentations at the Oklahoma State Capitol.

NASW-Oklahoma Legislative Education & Advocacy Day Event is a free event open to social work students and professionals (BSW/MSW/Ph.D./DSW) across the state and provides a deeper look into the political process (bill involvement, advocacy, etc). It is designed to educate students and professionals about important legislation affecting clients and the social work profession. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the legislative process and get a "hands-on" lobbying experience of talking with state legislators about important policy issues.

LEAD Overview

Each year, the NASW-Oklahoma Board of Directors approves an overall advocacy agenda. The agenda is a broad perspective of our overall goals for the session and what we stand for as an association. Later, as bills are filed with the Oklahoma Legislature, this agenda will be our guide for what bills to support or oppose. It also helps direct our action when the Governor’s office or other executive agencies create new policies impacting our profession or our clients.

Built from the NASW-Oklahoma advocacy agenda, the LEAD Event is divided into two segments, a Morning Report and Afternoon Address. The Morning Report begins with a welcome and introductions by the NASW-Oklahoma Leadership. Members of the NASW-OK Legislative Advocacy Workgroup (NASW-OK LAW) will provide an in-depth look at NASW-Oklahoma legislative priorities along with significant bills at the national level. Social Work students from across the state will present on their legislative efforts as well. The LEAD Afternoon Address is held at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Many social work students will offer poster presentations in the common areas of the Capitol, while others are meeting with legislators, attending hearings and committee meetings. NASW-Oklahoma Volunteers will be on the second and third floor to assist students in finding offices and meeting rooms.

Due to construction at the State Capitol, NASW-OK may be required to modify events.

LEAD Now and Beyond!

Understanding the political process and engaging in the name of our clients and our profession is paramount to the NASW Code of Ethics. By recognizing policy affects our profession, our practice, our lives and those of our clients, we are in a position to directly inform policy through our practice-based experience. NASW-Oklahoma provides an opportunity for our social work members to use our collective influence to make Oklahoma a better place to live, particularly those who struggle with poverty; discrimination on racial, gender, or sexual orientation lines; mental and physical illness; abuse, trauma, and neglect; and other challenges.

NASW-OK is very active during the legislative session and interim. Our Legislative Advocacy Workgroup works closely with our partners, allies, and many community groups to develop legislative proposals, set priorities, track bills relevant to social work practice, prepare testimony on key bills, support citizens to communicate important issues to law-makers, take other creative actions as inspiration allows, and make key connections. We also work to build a community of empowered and engaged social workers, supporting one another to understand the legislative process and how we can act to influence its direction for the benefit of our clients and our profession.

NASW-Oklahoma is exploring ways to become a living community, one to represent the diverse aspects and interests of both the social work profession and the people that it strives to support. In this way we hope to expand and democratize our profession’s access to the halls of power, to offer opportunities for both NASW membership and our clients to achieve empowerment through political action. Click here to take the LEAD and stay connected by being a part of the NASW-Oklahoma Legislative Advocacy Workgroup today.

Morning Report

Sequoyah Building | Concourse Theater

8:30 am - 9:00 am
9:00 am - 9:30 am
9:30 am - 10:00 am
10:00 am - 10:15 am
10:15am - 10:30 am
10:30 am - 11:15 am
11:15 am - 11:30 am
11:30 am - 12:00 pm
12:00 pm - 12:05 pm

Welcome to NASW-Oklahoma Legislative Education and Advocacy Day
Federal Legislative Update
Oklahoma Legislation Overview
Oklahoma State Senator, The Honorable Allison Ikley-Freeman [click for bio]
NASW-Oklahoma Student Intern, Jonathon Wales [click for more info]
Introduction on How to Meet with Elected Officials
Large Group Photograph on the Lawn

Afternoon Address

Oklahoma State Capitol | Oklahoma City

1:00 pm - 1:45 pm
1:45 pm – 3:00 pm

Tour of the State Capitol, meet on First Floor
Advocacy at the Capitol (on your own)


Act : A bill that has passed both chambers and has been signed by the President to become law. Often, a bill may have the word "Act" in its title when it is introduced and does not reflect if it has been officially considered.

Amendment : A change to a bill or motion. An amendment is debated and voted on in the same manner as a bill.

Appropriation : A formal approval to draw funds from the United States Treasury for an authorized program or activity.

Authorization : Legislation that formally establishes a program or activity and sets a funding limit for that program or activity.

Bill : A proposed law that is introduced in the legislature by a Member of Congress. In the House a bill is recognized as H.R. and S. in the Senate.

Challenger : A person running for election against an incumbent.

Chamber : A place where the legislative body meets to conduct business. In the U.S. we have two chambers, one each for the House and Senate respectively.

Committee : A group of legislators in the House or Senate that prepares legislation for action for the officiating chamber. Committees often schedule public hearings to discuss legislative issues. Most action takes place at the subcommittee level.

Concurrent Resolution : Legislation adopted by both Chambers to express the position of Congress. As such a resolution does not have the signature of the President; it does not have the force of law.

Congressional Record : The official transcript of House and Senate proceedings.

Conferees/Conference Committee : The House and Senate appoint conferees to a conference committee to resolve differences between House and Senate passed versions of the same legislation. The Senate Majority Leader and the House Majority Leader appoint conferees.

Continuing Resolution : Legislation passed by both the House and the Senate permitting specific Executive Branch agencies to continue operating even though funds have yet to be appropriated for the following fiscal year.

Cosponsor : When a member of the House or Senate supports a pending bill, but is not the primary sponsor, they sign their name onto the bill as a cosponsor to illustrate their support.

Endorsement : A stamp of approval for someone running for office.

Filibuster : Delaying tactic associated with the Senate and used by the Minority in an effort to prevent the passage of a bill or amendment. Usually threatened but not executed. The House cannot filibuster as all debate is governed by rigid rules crafted by the Rules Committee setting the parameters for discussion and approved by the entire body for each separate piece of legislation. The Senate does not employ a rulemaking process.

Fundraiser : An event to raise money for a candidate; takes place at various times of the year; counts as a contribution.

Hearing : An occasion in which evidence to support particular points of view can be brought forth to the sponsoring Committee.

Incumbent : A person who is already elected to the office for which they are seeking re-election.

Joint Committee : Members of both chambers are appointed to consider matters of common interest. Such committees can speed up the legislative process by consolidating the time for hearings.

Mark up : The process of amending a legislative proposal. Held by the Committee of jurisdiction, committee members can offer amendments, which if successful, changes the legislative language of a particular bill. If the bill is changed drastically the committee might reintroduce the legislation under a new bill.

Majority Leader : The leader of the majority party in the Senate, elected by his/her peers. In the House, the Majority Leader is the second in command in the House after the Speaker of the House and is also elected to that post by his/her peers.

Minority Leader : Leader of the minority party in the House and Senate.

Open Seat : A situation when the incumbent is not running for re-election, or the district was newly created during redistricting and reapportionment.

Partisan : Relating to a particular political party.

  • Bi-partisan : Relating to the two major political parties.
  • Non-partisan : Not relating to any political parties.
  • Multi-partisan : Relating to more than one political party.

Reapportionment and redistricting : An activity that occurs every ten years after the U.S. Census, during which congressional districts are allocated to states and congressional district lines are redrawn to reflect shifts in population.

Recess : Adjournment by the House or Senate for at least three days, with a set time for reconvening.

Speaker of the House : Elected by the majority party, the Speaker presides over the House of Representatives during the two-year legislative session.

Whip : Senator or Representative who serves as an internal lobbyist for the Republican or Democratic party to persuade legislators to support their party position, and who counts votes for the leadership in advance of floor action.