Advocacy

Why is Advocacy Important?

The North Carolina Public Health Association has led efforts to improve the public's health through advocating for resources and policies to promote a healthy society. In this time of public health challenges and limited budgets, NCPHA is working to ensure the needs of public health are met. NCPHA influences policies and sets priorities on a broad set of issues, including:
  • Children's health
  • Primary care
  • Health disparities
  • Access to care
  • Public health infrastructure
  • Funding for public health programs
  • Environmental health
  • Disease control
  • Tobacco control

NCPHA members and staff work with State Legislators and Members of Congress, regulatory agencies and other public health organizations to ensure that public health is priority in the legislative and policy-making process.

How Can I Influence Policy?

Every citizen can advocate on behalf of public health. Those employed in government should forward messages to their State Legislators and Members of Congress after business hours and use only personal stationary, email addresses, and personal telephone.

To learn more about the structure of the North Carolina General Assembly, how an idea becomes law and directions to the General Assembly building, please go the NC General Assembly Citizen Guide or click here to find your representative.

To follow legislation or to obtain contact information on each legislator, you can also access that information on the main General Assembly website.

To obtain information relative to the US Congress, go to www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.

If you are interested in writing a letter to an elected official but not sure how to address them?  Check out our Protocol Cheat Sheet.  It includes information on how to address (both in person and in writing) local, state, national, and judicial officials. 

 

NCPHA Legislative Initiatives - 

 

PRIORITIES FOR 2021/2022

 

As approved by Governing Council on December 10, 2020

 

NCPHA will add its name to the letter to Congressional leadership being circulated by West End Revitalization Association (WERA) regarding the impact of COVID related hazardous and medical waste on communities of color.

 

 

NCPHA policy agenda for the 2021/2022 biennium:

 

  • ENDORSE proposed legislation to amend the definition of “lead poisoning hazard” in GS 130A- 131.7 (7) g to read as follows: “Any concentration of lead in drinking water equal to or greater than 5 parts per billion. (Currently 15 parts per billion).
    • BACKGROUND: This issue works directly to improve public health by reducing lead poisoning hazard. This hazard level (greater than or equal to 15 parts per billion) was established in the state’s childhood lead poisoning statute many years ago. However, current research indicates that the childhood hazard level should be set as close to zero as possible. Both the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that the drinking water lead hazard level be set at 1 ppb (to be as close to zero as possible), and the Environmental Protection Agency has recently recommended a level of no more than 5 ppb. Three states and the District of Columbia have already adopted this standard, and many states are in the process of doing so. NC Child is working in collaboration with The Child Fatality Task Force to lead these efforts.

 

  • ENDORSE any proposed legislation to expand Access to Comprehensive Prenatal Care for Undocumented Immigrant Women. The NCGA should adopt the Children’s Health Insurance Program option to provide comprehensive prenatal, labor, delivery, and immediate postpartum care to undocumented immigrant women. 
    • BACKGROUND: This came as a recommendation from the NCIOM Risk-Appropriate Perinatal System of Care Task Force. Task Force convened in partnership with the NCDHHS, Division of Public Health, Women’s and Children’s section, to respond to Session Law 2018-93 and Goal 3E of North Carolina’s Perinatal Health Strategic Plan. The Task Force estimates, because of difference in the funding mechanism, that NC tax payers could save about $4 million with a decrease in the Hispanic IMR to 3.8/1000 or 10 babies saved.

 

  • ENDORSE Any proposed legislation on a variety of workplace health issues that would support maternal and child health, including:
    • Guarantee North Carolina workers the right to pregnancy and lactation accommodations in the workplace;
    • Guarantee North Carolina workers the right to use their sick days to care for a sick loved one, seek preventative care, or deal with the physical, mental, or legal impacts of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
    • Address paid family leave benefit in North Carolina.

  • ENDORSE appropriation request to Provide additional state funding to address increased demands associated with communicable and emerging infectious diseases.

  • ENDORSE any proposed legislation or administrative efforts restore Women’s and Children’s Health Block Grant funding to local health departments.

  • SUPPORT legislation that will close the health insurance coverage gap in North Carolina and provide access to affordable coverage to the more than 500,000 individuals living in the coverage gap. The appropriate legislation must address four key principles which are: Accessibility, Affordability, Accountability, and Economic Development. Care4Carolina will lead on this issue.

  • ENDORSE proposed legislation to amend North Carolina’s youth access law to ensure effective enforcement of the new age restriction for purchasing tobacco products.

  • ENDORSE proposed legislation or appropriation request that would increase funding for school nutrition programs and food banks.

  • ENDORSE proposed legislation or appropriation request that would support funding for active routes to school and increased bike and pedestrian programs.

  • SUPPORT legislation that would remove the exemption for state and local government employees from the Social Work Title Protection Law.
    • BACKGROUND:  The SW Title Protection Law created in 2009 stipulates that no one can have the words social worker in their job title without a social work degree unless they work for state or local government.  This exemption was initiated and supported by the NC Department of Social Services Directors and was necessary for the legislation to pass.   The Social Work Section of NCPHA would like to see the exemption removed from the law
  • OPPOSE SB 40 or any other propped legislation that would expand the type and size of fireworks sold to consumers in North Carolina.

  • OPPOSE HB572:  a bill that could potentially destabilize decades of effort on the part of state public health workers to protect North Carolinians from disease, disability and death from vaccine preventable infections. 

 

 

Click here for the Fluoridation Resolution.

Click here for link to the NCPH Environmental Health Section Position Statements.