Influencing Legislation, Regulations, and Electoral Politics 167 are needed to maintain momentum and ensure that various constituencies are aware of regulatory changes and that the changes are in fact carried out. 6. Involvement in Electoral Politics Social workers’ involvement in the political process ranges from working on a political campaign, running for elected office themselves, and political activ- ism. Given attacks on basic human rights led largely by Republicans, the con- tinued erosion of the social safety net, and the catastrophic consequences of climate change, the need for social workers to engage directly in the electoral process has never been more urgent. Competency 3: Advance Human Rights and Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice • Apply their understanding of social, economic, and environmental justice to advocate for human rights at the individual and system levels. • Engage in practices that advance social, economic, and environmental justice. Teaching Methods and Skills We may assume that many—perhaps even most—of our students hold progres- sive political views, consistent with the values and ethics of the social work pro- fession. Yet we also must anticipate that we will have students whose political views may be counter to or inconsistent with those we associate with the pro- fession. In other cases, we may have students who are apolitical or uninterested in or cynical about politics and the political process. We believe that it is important that students of all political persuasions—or none at all—feel comfortable and included in the discussion. We suggest that in your presentation of this material, you place emphasis on the processes of legis- lative and regulatory influence and the importance of political activism, rather than advocating specific political positions. The Legislative and Regulatory Processes 1. Use a lecture format to acquaint students with the processes through which bills become laws and regulations are enacted and modified. This should include a description of the legislative process employed by the state in which your school or program is located.
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