“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

— Margaret Mead


ACER-CART values loyalty, honesty, integrity, voice, representation and fair treatment.

We support an engaged retirement lifestyle and encourage our Members and their members to be knowledgeable, well informed and to act in an ethical and professional manner. Issues that affect our present and future members are understood, our opinions are expressed, and we promote action.

Effective advocacy enables us to act with integrity, both collectively and individually, to build genuine trustworthy relationships, and to create networks and goodwill.


  • monitor the Federal Government’s actions and pronouncements on health care, pensions, and other concerns for seniors,
  • put forth positions on the issues important to ACER-CART,
  • continue our dialogue with like-minded organizations, and
  • continue to foster a multi-faceted advocacy strategy.


  • Introduce yourself and the organization that you represent. People may not know about ACER-CART, its mission, values and who it represents, or they may have us confused with like-minded organizations.
  • Identify why policymakers should care about you, what’s in it for them and how you can facilitate their objectives.
  • Be seen as a person who has knowledge in many outside areas. Retirees have the interest, the time to read, the time to consider all the materials, AND we vote.
  • Know to whom you are talking: your MP, your MLA, their office staff, the riding association executive, or anyone else affiliated with your elected official.
  • Know who has influence and power before you finalize your message.
  • Build a relationship and become a trusted stakeholder with maximum impact.
  • Engage major supporters, opinion leaders or similar support when they support your goals.
  • Find well-researched connections to your issue, campaign promises and/or policy statements.
  • Consider where best to influence, i.e. in the community, over a coffee, lunch, or kitchen meeting.


  • What is your message?
  • Who needs to know?
  • What you want them to remember?
  • Be aware of why your issue and solutions can be helpful. Position your concern in their best interests.
  • As spokesman, you need to be a connector, able to find common ground.
  • Be a good listener – listen for major interests, find links and commonalities to make the issue and solution viable.


Who is the Audience? What is the Message? How/what are the Media/Tactic?


Who’s responsible for what?
  • What is the desired end result? How will you determine your degree of success?

Phone Call

  • Make the phone call, make a personal connection, or be referred if you can.
  • Tell the whole truth, know your facts, and link it with your target.
  • Briefly outline your key message,
  • Offer to work on a common solution and note the benefits.
  • Follow up with an email if necessary, restating or summarizing your need to meet. Review the common interest, mutual interest and solution for a shared result.
  • Meet the target on their ground. Be constructive, sensitive, concise, relevant and respectful.
  • Create a one- to two-pager to leave with the target, briefly outlining who you are, the issue, background, your solutions, costs & benefits, common ground and initiatives for coordinated and cooperative follow-up.

3 Minute Meeting or the 30 Minute Meeting

The purpose of this meeting is to influence and build a respectful relationship. Be mindful of the time allotted for your meeting. Try to take three people – two presenters & one note-taker.

The first meeting should be the start of a new relationship.

3 Minute Meeting
in 30 second segments
30 Minute Meeting
in 5 – 10 minute segments
Define the issue. Establish the issue and tell a personal story.
Summarize the issue background. Why you & ACER-CART are dealing with the issue. Due diligence – discussing solution-seeking exercise to come up with your discussion points.
Personalize the issue with a real story & a real person. Develop a conversation about solutions

  • let the target talk and share experiences & solutions
 Approach with your solution. Leave your two-pager
Offer your assistance for a coordinated solution. Identify and agree on desired outcomes

  • Confirm key points,
  • Follow up your commitments for working together on common solutions.

Follow up

  • Recognize follow up commitments,
  • Continue the relationship with regular follow up,
  • Keep the targets engaged,
  • Keep a paper trail going, confirm your joint key points,
  • Keep the influencers engaged and updated.

Thank You

ACER-CART would like to thank the Alberta Retired Teachers’ Association (ARTA), the BC Retired Teachers’ Association (BCRTA) and the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) for their information which is included in this document.