Lessons Learned

Photo with Laura Bush

The Hyde Square Task Force receives the “Coming Up Taller” award for Ritmo en Acción, its Afro-Latin and contemporary dance program, from then-First Lady Laura Bush.


  1. Taking the time to include all coalition members in advocacy efforts increases the likelihood of success.

    Advocacy efforts tested the coalition; organizations were at different stages of understanding and readiness. If everyone is not included, important partners and voices can be left behind.

  2. As one organization succeeds, others gain confidence.

    The work of individual coalition members to move their own agendas forward should be supported by others in the coalition.

  3. Relationships with deputies and other aides to policymakers are essential.

    Leadership changes in key city and state agencies are inevitable, and contingency plans must be developed at the start; this reduces the risk of losing momentum as elected and appointed officials and other policymakers change roles.

  4. Advocacy is a long-term activity.

    Relationships must be maintained and messages must be concise, clear, and constant. Public funding comes and goes; it requires constant vigilance and advocacy to maintain funding support from year to year.