Casey DreierJan 26, 2022

Why we do the Day of Action

Here's a hint: it's the most effective type of advocacy there is

There are many ways to reach out to your member of Congress: email, phone calls, digital petitions, and any number of social media platforms. All of these can be valuable avenues for advocacy and we frequently encourage our members to use them. But the Day of Action is different: our members meet with their legislators and congressional staff. Instead of sending a message, we facilitate a conversation.

This act of conversing, engaging, and talking is the core of the Day of Action. Instead of a one-way request (like emails and petitions), in-person meetings are a two-way street. As a result, they are more "sticky" in the memories of legislators and their staff. That’s not just a belief. Data from the nonpartisan Congressional Management Foundation shows that the most effective method for influencing legislators on issues like space exploration is direct constituent meetings

Constituent Influence on Congressional Offices
Constituent Influence on Congressional Offices Source: Communicating with Congress Perceptions of Citizen Advocacy on Capitol Hill.Image: Congressional Management Foundation

Effective face-to-face meetings (even virtual ones) require preparation. We work with our members to practice talking points, develop meeting strategies, and understand the local connections to space exploration. As a result, our members in the Day of Action are the best space advocates they can be.

The expenditure of time is also understood as a sign of commitment. After all, time is a commodity we can only spend once. And if there are Planetary Society members from a congressional district spending a whole day advocating for space, experienced politicians know the issue must be truly important to them.

The Tip of the Iceberg
Participants of the Day of Action are the tip of the proverbial iceberg of space advocates around the world Image: Ramosh Artworks

Additionally, they understand that not everyone can spend that time advocating for space and that there are hundreds, if not thousands of other constituents who share these priorities. Participants of the Day of Action are therefore the tip of the proverbial iceberg; living proof that space science and exploration is a valued activity of our democratic system.

The Day of Action, then, is itself an expression of the organization’s commitment to space exploration. It’s an opportunity for our members to share their passion with individuals who have the power to enable it, and to represent the shared hopes, dreams, and curiosities of fellow members of society.

Space advocates outside of the United States play a role in the Day of Action, too! No matter where you live, there are important and impactful actions you can take to help. Learn more.

The 2024 Day of Action

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