Public Policy & SPAC

JUNIOR LEAGUE OF GEORGIA STATE PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE

The Junior League of DekalbCounty is proud to be a member of the Junior Leagues of Georgia State Public Affairs Committee (SPAC), a statewide advocacy organization. The Junior Leagues of Georgia State Public Affairs Committee represents the interests of its twelve (12) member leagues and the issue areas addressed by their projects to policy makers at the state and federal levels. As a non-partisan, collective voice SPAC is “Over 10,000 Women Strong” representing communities throughout the State of Georgia. Advocacy efforts are limited to issues in areas pertaining to: education, health, welfare, and current issues as they relate to women and children. Each League sends a SPAC A & B Delegate to participate in the statewide committee. The role of SPAC delegates is to: advocate for specific legislation relevant to member league issues, educate Junior League members, and coordinate the exchange of information from community-based league projects to state and federal policy makers.

UNDERSTANDING GA-SPAC

What is SPAC?

SPAC is the acronym for the Junior Leagues of Georgia State Public Affairs Committee.  Its mission is to engage in project-driven legislative advocacy on behalf of its member Leagues according to its Position Statement areas:  education, health, welfare, and current issues; more specifically addressed as Public Stands, which may focus on human trafficking, early childhood education, childhood obesity, nutrition, etc… SPAC is comprised of an executive committee and two delegates from each of its twelve member Georgia Junior Leagues:  Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Cobb-Marietta, Columbus, Dekalb, Douglas, Gwinnett-North Fulton, Gainesville-Hall, Macon, and Savannah. 

What is SPAC’s purpose?

The purpose of SPAC is to select state and national issues that support League projects, educate individual member Leagues on issues selected for action by SPAC, facilitate communication among the member Junior Leagues of Georgia in the area of public affairs, provide training in advocacy skills and strategies, and act as the representative of the member Leagues on the state and national levels. 

What is the impact of SPAC?

SPAC supports bills that benefit the citizens of Georgia. Some of SPAC’s legislative strategies include: collaborative partnerships, recruitment of legislator sponsorships, and active support or opposition of a bill and/or funding through writing letters, phone calls, visits, and testifying before legislative committees.  Since its inception SPAC has influenced multiple pieces of legislation; in current years, SPAC has accomplished: the passage of House Bill 200 which strengthened the law regarding human trafficking in the state of Georgia; Senate Bill 5 which closed the loopholes in the state’s seat belt law; and House Bill 23, the legislation which outlawed texting while driving.  

How does our League benefit from being involved in SPAC? 

SPAC efforts fall into one of four focus areas – education, health, welfare, and current issues as they impact Georgia’s women and children.  SPAC’s sponsored and supported legislation directly links back to projects and advocacy of its member Leagues. The policy changes created by SPAC’s supported legislation enhance the work its member Leagues do in their community.  Furthermore, SPAC provides unique advocacy training to its delegates in both the legislative and community contexts, providing them with skills they can use to further support their own League projects within their communities. 

How do SPAC delegates act on behalf of their League?

SPAC delegates vote to support, oppose, or watch legislation that is brought before the delegation. Each SPAC delegate sits on an Ad Hoc Committee dedicated to one of SPAC’s four focus areas.  Each Ad Hoc committee reviews current bills to determine their applicability.  The bills which the Ad Hoc committee determines are worth supporting are then voted on by the entire delegation.  Per SPAC’s bylaws, each member League has a single vote which is cast by the SPAC Delegate A.  Each voting delegate should represent the interests of her home League and shall cast her votes according to that interest.  

If SPAC has approved a bill, must the Junior League of DeKalb take a support position as well?

Although the Junior League of DeKalb County is not required to take a support position on legislation, SPAC provides an opportunity for the Junior League of DeKalb to participate in legislative advocacy and expands the excellent training that is provided to SPAC delegates.  The Junior League of DeKalb support of SPAC’s sponsored or supported legislation also strengthens SPAC’s statement that it represents 10,000 women across all communities in Georgia.  Since SPAC is a statewide organization, it is important to have the Junior League of DeKalb’s endorsement because our local legislators care most about what we, their constituents, believe in, work for, and advocate about.  Our locally elected officials are generally more receptive to the SPAC position if it is echoed by the Junior League of DeKalb. 

Can I help SPAC if I am not a SPAC delegate?

Absolutely, You Can!  Throughout the year, the Junior League of DeKalb SPAC delegates:

SPAC-A Eliza Bartleet, Public Policy Chair, eliza.bartleet@gmail.com SPAC-B Beth Daniell, Public Policy Member, bdaniell628@gmail.com

Will keep you informed about the legislation SPAC is supporting.  If you feel strongly about a bill that SPAC is supporting, we urge you to write a letter/email to your legislator voicing your support.  The SPAC delegates can provide you with sample support letters and contact information for your state and federal legislators. 

SPAC wants to hear from you!  Please let your delegates know if you have any ideas for legislation that SPAC could sponsor, or if you are aware of pending legislation that SPAC should consider.

For Further Information

Please visit the Junior Leagues of Georgia State Public Affairs Committee’s website at:

http://www.gajlspac.org/

Follow SPAC on:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/JLGSPAC

Twitter:

www/twitter.com/ga_spac