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Advocates in Washington

Make Your Voice Heard: Join the Parkinson’s Policy Network

As people living with Parkinson's and their loved ones know, you are — and often must be — your own best advocate. By telling lawmakers what matters to people with Parkinson’s and sharing your story, you play a critical role in helping fund research toward a cure and ensuring there are programs and support for our community.

  • Capitol building.

    About the Parkinson’s Policy Network

    The Parkinson’s Policy Network is The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s (MJFF) grassroots advocacy program. Our network provides you with resources to help make your voice heard and build relationships with elected officials and their staff. 

    You can make a real difference by signing up to join the Parkinson’s Policy Network. What does that mean? It means you will join the Parkinson’s community in asking Congress, The White House and your state officials to support finding a cure for Parkinson’s disease (PD), and to care for those already living with PD.  

    How does it work? When you sign up, you will receive policy updates and timely action alerts. We make it easy for you to contact your elected officials about what people with Parkinson’s need, and what the scientific research field needs to find a cure. By sharing your personal story, you can help shape legislation that impacts the entire community.  

“I went from patient to advocate in a day. The feeling of being able to serve…to be able to offer up my story as much as it is uncomfortable, it’s a tremendous privilege.”
Michael J. Fox

Thanks to our advocates, in recent years we have seen significant public policy advances in the Parkinson’s arena. Here are some of our recent accomplishments. 

The Impact of Public Policy

Ready to take action?

    • Capitol building.

      Ask Congress to Help Communities Provide the Foundation for Better Health

      Urge your lawmakers to address social determinants of health and support the PD community.
    • Researchers at computer

      Continue the CDC’s Program to Better Understand Parkinson’s Disease

      Encourage your Members of Congress to prioritize important Parkinson’s data collection.
    • Capitol Hill aerial view

      Tell Congress Veterans Deserve Better Health Care

      Urge your lawmakers to increase funding for specialized centers for veterans with Parkinson’s.
    • Doctor looking at iPad with patient

      We Care about Your Mental Health — So Should Congress!

      Urge Congress to make one small fix to Medicare to allow people with Parkinson’s to have their mental health care telehealth visits covered.
    • doctor with tablet

      Don’t Let Congress Hang up on Telehealth

      Help make telehealth a permanent health care option.
    • Capitol building.

      Paraquat Increases Risk of Parkinson’s — Tell Congress to Ban It!

      Banning paraquat could reduce the number of people who develop Parkinson’s. Urge your members of Congress to co-sponsor this new legislation and ban paraquat in the U.S.
    • People inside a Capitol Hill building.

      Interested in Parkinson’s Advocacy? We Need Your Help to Take Action.

      Share your contact information and we’ll make sure you receive the latest action alerts and policy updates directly to your inbox.
Make Your Voice Heard

Whether public policy and advocacy work are second nature or you’re just getting started, you can be an effective advocate. Check out our advocacy resources designed to bring you up to speed on Parkinson’s policy issues and show you how to take action on them. No matter what you decide to do — meet with your lawmaker in person or virtually, advocate on social media and/or write about Parkinson’s-related policy issues in traditional media outlets — it’s important to speak up for yourself and the PD community. 

Taking Advocacy to Another Level: Parkinson’s Policy Ambassadors

Some of MJFF’s most engaged volunteers become Parkinson’s Policy Ambassadors. Ambassadors commit to building strong relationships with members of Congress and to advocating in support of Parkinson’s policy priorities. Ambassadors receive specialized training and work with MJFF policy staff to become the go-to resource for Congressional offices and provide critical information back to MJFF staff. Read our FAQs below to learn more.

  • Who can be an Ambassador?

    Anyone can become a Parkinson’s Policy Ambassador. There are skills and qualifications we look for when selecting Ambassadors, including personal connection to Parkinson’s, strong public speaker and interest and understanding of public policy and politics. Learn more in our role description.

  • What will I be asked to do if I become an Ambassador?

    Ambassadors serve as liaisons between the Parkinson’s community and their elected officials and staff. Ambassadors are asked to contact members of Congress concerning important legislative issues in a timely manner; meet with elected officials throughout the year; participate in webinars and trainings; act as community connectors, and report back to MJFF.  

  • What does the Ambassador training program entail?

    Ambassadors attend monthly webinars and have access to online resources. Through this training program, we equip Ambassadors with the skills needed to become an effective advocate. Ambassadors are offered opportunities to reinforce learning by sharing challenges, developing new ideas, and creating solutions with peers and MJFF policy staff.   

  • How long will I be an Ambassador?

    The training program is approximately one year long. We ask Ambassadors to join us for two-year terms to correspond with the Congressional cycle. You can be an Ambassador as long as you’d like.  

  • Who can I contact with questions about the program?

    If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Weissmann, MJFF Associate Director of Grassroots Engagement at sweissmann@michaeljfox.org.  

Want to tell us about a meeting or share your story?

Please complete this form to tell us about any meetings or engagement you have with elected officials. In addition, we are always looking to feature policy advocates in our communications. Please contact us at shareyourstory@michaeljfox.org.

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