Integral Political Advocacy



Below is an edited version of an email I just sent to a state senator. The matter in questions is a bill to improve compensation for part-time faculty in the community and technical college system.

I am posting the message here, because I am inviting critique and commentary on the form and substance of the communication. I’m trying to work politically from an Integral place and it would be helpful to have communications templates to advance that work. Does anything in the message fall short of an Integral vision? Are there additional elements that would take this message in a stronger Integral direction or make it more likely to achieve its purpose?

Dear Senator <name>,

This message is in support of the advancement of < bill number >from the committee to improve pay equity for part-time faculty. <my address and information>

Yesterday I was writing an essay on equitable educational practices as advocated by Paulo Freire and bell hooks. In the course of constructing that essay, it struck me that part-time faculty are arguably the single group in our system that best fits Freire’s notion of “the oppressed”. It is difficult to imagine how instructors can expand the skills and life choices of their disadvantaged students when they themselves struggle to make ends meet.

In the event you have specific concerns related to <bill number> and cannot support it at this time, I would welcome further respectful dialog on the details of the matter. I am nearing retirement and am financially well-advantaged, so advocacy for myself is not on the agenda. Rather, I aim to give back by working with you and others to guide our education system through the many difficult social transitions facing us in the years ahead.


Just with a cursory read, one thing that might be useful (and integral) is to say something that alludes to why the lack of equity exists, or more specifically, what the college system’s perspective is on the pay issue, your understanding of that. Besides presenting your own, you take the perspective of part-time instructors and disadvantaged students, welcome the perspective of the Senator, and allow for the perspective of the general system going through “difficult social transitions,” but that doesn’t speak specifically enough to the “money :musical_note:, money money money money…”