On the national level
Girl Scouts of the USA's advocacy efforts help demonstrate to lawmakers that Girl Scouts is a resource and an authority on issues affecting girls. Based on more than 100 years of experience and developed from extensive research, the Girl Scout Public Policy and Advocacy Office:
- Encourages healthy living through combating Relational Aggression and promoting girl-positive media images;
- Promotes girls' involvement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM);
- Gives a voice to girls in underserved communities;
- Ensures girls feel emotionally and physically safe;
- Prevents youth violence in communities; and
- Develops financial literacy skills through programs like the Cookie Program.
Girl Scouts of the USA first established a Public Policy and Advocacy office in 1952. Since that time, the organization has worked to build strong relationships with members of Congress, as well as with officials at the White House and federal departments and agencies. Through national advocacy efforts, Girl Scouts of the USA informs and educates key representatives of the government's legislative and executive branches about issues important to girls and Girl Scouting and lobby for increased program resources.
On June 19 in Washington D.C., the American Chemical Society Science & the Congress (ACS) and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) are sponsoring a briefing and panel discussion on STEM Workforce Equality: Engaging Girls and Women. Honorary co-hosts Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) were joined by moderator Madeleine Jacobs, Executive Director, American Chemical Society, who will facilitate a panel discussion on options to foster youths’—particularly girls’— curiosity and build a future STEM workforce that reflects the national population and helps to deliver prosperity to our communities. Panelists include Anna Maria Chavez, CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA; Carol Amos, Manager Field Engineering Program, DuPont, Cassandra Alexandra, Gold Award recipient, Girl Scouts of Alaska Council; and Judy Brown, Senior Vice President of Education, Miami Science Museum. Girl Scouts from all three states in our council – Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, attended the briefing. Here they are pictured with GSCB staff and GSUSA CEO Anna Maria Chávez.
On the council level
Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay advocates for girls' issues by educating state and local elected officials on the needs of girls, and partnering with organizations such as the Delaware Girls Initiative, Delaware AfterSchool Alliance and others. Every spring, GSCB hosts Delaware Legislative Day at Legislative Hall in Dover, Delaware. In 2011, Honorary Troop 1912 was launched, including all of the women senators and representatives in the Delaware General Assembly. GSCB also partners with the Girl Scout Councils of Central Maryland and Nation's Capital to host Maryland Legislative Day each February.
Join the Girl Scouts Advocacy Network
The Girl Scouts Advocacy Network provides a tool for you to become the voice for girls and to make a difference in your community and across the nation. Girl Scout members, volunteers, boards, staff and supporters can educate policymakers and community leaders on issues that directly affect girls and the Girl Scouts. By being an advocate, you will have an impact on girl policy issues that are moving through Congress and state legislatures. Sign up today at www.girlscouts4girls.org and take action!