NETWORK’s grassroots organizing is team based. Advocates Teams are composed of NETWORK members and supporters who live or work in a shared geographical region. Some teams are centered around a specific city or town; others include people across the entire state. Regardless of location, team members are united by their passion for justice, desire to learn, and commitment to advocacy! Advocates Teams welcome people with all different levels of experience and backgrounds. Some team members have been involved with NETWORK for decades, while others are new to advocacy. NETWORK—and our Advocates Teams—are open to all who share our passion for justice. We invite you to organize with Network!
NETWORK has Advocates Teams in 12 strategic states. These states were chosen after considering factors including: the geography of the NETWORK field (both current and growth potential), Congressional leadership, key committees and other Hill targets, as well as NETWORK’s legislative priorities, election work, and more.
- New Jersey
- New York
Catherine Gillette, Sen. Grassroots Mobilization Organizer for:
CA, TX, OH, MI, NY, VA :
Sr. Emily TeKolste, SP, Grassroots Mobilization Organizer for:
IL, IN, KY, MO, NJ, PA
What about other states?
NETWORK’s organizing is not limited to the 12 strategic building states. We have 100,000+ members and supporters across the country–and a presence in nearly every congressional district. Advocates who live outside the geographical bounds of a state advocates team act make a huge impact. Whether they act as individuals, pair up with friends and family, or organize larger groups to make phone calls, send emails, sign petitions, post on social media, attend town halls, participate in lobby visits, and more—they help make NETWORK a powerful presence on Capitol Hill.
For organizing in states without an Advocates Team, contact:
Meg Olson, Grassroots Mobilization Director
What about student organizing?
NETWORK has an organizer dedicated to developing high school and college students’ Catholic Social Justice advocacy skills. Students learn and participate in faith-based advocacy and lobbying through trainings on Zoom, workshops on campus, guided Capitol Hill lobby visits, and more.
Colin Martinez Longmore, Grassroots Outreach and Education Coordinator
Youth and Young Adults, Trainings
We Organize to Build Anew
NETWORK advocates organize to Build Anew to free our country from federal laws and policies that are racist, deprive people dignity because of gender or sexual orientation, righ the economy for the wealthy and more. Federal policy advocacy issues center on reparations, immigration, the child tax credit, and more. In April, advocates from around the country gathered to celebrate NETWORK’s 50 year anniversary with special training workshops, a gala, and plenary sessions like the one featured here, which featured Joan Neal, Deputy Executive Director & Chief Equity Officer, Mary Novak, Executive Director, the Government Relations Team, and Meg Olson, Director, Grassroots Mobilization.
Download the Advocates Handbook
Did you know the Advocates Handbook is also available for purchase in the NETWORK store? Click here to buy it!
Team activities and commitment
Advocates Team activities vary based on the availability, interests, and creativity of the team members, but all team members are encouraged to engage in:
- Monthly Advocates Team meetings either in-person or online
- Regular communication with Members of Congress via email, phone calls, town halls, etc.
- Two in-district meetings a year with your Members of Congress or their staff
- Communicating through the local media via letters to the editor, interviews, etc.
- Involvement in coalition work and/or community outreach
- Participation in NETWORK programs, trainings, events, and campaigns
- Recruitment to grow your Advocates Team’s size and power
Leadership: Team Coordinator
A NETWORK Advocates Team Coordinator is passionate about NETWORK’s Build Anew policy agenda (see above video), committed to social justice work, and excited to build relationships with and engage their Members of Congress. Above all, an Advocates Team Coordinator is a “people person” who can organize justice-seekers in their region to engage in advocacy with NETWORK.
They should be committed to living out “Sister-Spirit” and doing anti-racism work. While they do not have to be Catholic, an Advocates Team Coordinator should be comfortable talking about NETWORK’s “Build Anew” issues from a place rooted in their faith tradition or belief system, as well as engaging in spiritual reflection and contemplation. They are strongly encouraged to be a dues-paying member of NETWORK.
Advocates Teams receive robust support from NETWORK staff, including:
- Regular policy briefs and legislative updates
- Opportunities to strategically engage in advocacy at the federal policy level
- Advocacy, organizing, and media trainings
- Educational content
- Catholic Social Justice resources
- Materials for reflection and contemplation
With the support from NETWORK staff and one another, team members grow in their understanding of federal policies that support the common good.
Interested in joining a team or taking individual action? Let us know here!
NETWORK offers a number of different workshops and trainings online for members and the general public and we are always adding more! We can facilitate a workshop and/or lead a training session with your state Advocates Team, congregation, parish, school, organization, or community group. Some of our offerings are below. Ask us if you need a training you don’t see here!
Faithful Democracy Filibuster Teach-In
On July 22, 2021, NETWORK joined with national faith partners and legal experts to present Faithful Democracy’s Filibuster Teach-In to educate people on the powerful tool of the Senate.
Tax Justice for All
The Tax Justice for All workshop offers you the opportunity to re-envision a tax code that makes the wealthy and corporations pay their fair share and see how we can invest that money to build anew.
Faith & Advocacy
About NETWORK: Learn about NETWORK’s mission, values, history, “Nuns on the Bus” campaign, our Build Anew public policy issues, and how you can join us in our advocacy work!
Catholic Social Justice: Learn about how the Gospel, Catholic Social Teaching, Catholic Social Tradition, and responding to the “signs of the times” call us to work for economic and racial justice.
Intro to Faith-Based Advocacy: Using NETWORK’s “Educate, Organize, Lobby” model, advocates and activists learn about a variety of activities and tactics to build or participate in a justice campaign.
Racial Wealth and Income Gap: An interactive experience that offers participants an understanding of 12 federal policies from Slavery to present day that have created the wealth and income gap between Black and white Americans.
Human Bar Graph on Income Inequality: A fun, interactive workshop that teaches participants how the past 40 years of economic policy in the United States has created today’s vast income inequality.
Town Hall for Tax Justice: Created for the 2018 Nuns on the Bus Tax Justice Truth Tour, this interactive—and at times humorous—workshop shows how the 2017 Tax Law has drastically exacerbated our nation’s wealth and income inequality, and provides timely legislative actions you can take to Build Anew.
How to Lobby/Prep for Lobby Visit: Whether you want to learn more about influencing your Member of Congress or are getting ready to meet with your Member of Congress on the Hill or in-district, NETWORK can equip you for success!
Transformative Conversations to Bridge Divides: This workshop equips participants to engage friends and family members in healthy dialogue in these challenging political times.
Pope Francis Voter:
About NETWORK staff
The NETWORK staff is amazing!
NETWORK Gives Me Hope
When asked what gives you hope for the Miderms…”NETWORK!” was the answer.
I love the podcast—keeping doing it
Keeping me Catholic
Women religious and NETWORK are why I stay a Catholic, thank you for this work
Impressed by PFVT Resources
Thank you for giving us real resources and tools to participate, organize and advocate.
YES, YES! Thank you for the Senate Side-by-Sides and Equally Sacred Checklist, how many can I take with me to pass out of my parish?
Thank you for the clear and strong messaging. Can I take more copies of Connection?
Excellent educational tools
These materials are amazing; may I take more to hang up at school?
A Powerful Experience for Me
Being a part of the NETWORK Advocates Team in Indiana has been a really powerful experience for me. Sometimes I get a little overwhelmed by the problems that I see in our nation and our world and I feel helpless to do anything about them. However, through our monthly NETWORK Advocates I have been given several opportunities to make a difference on issues that are important to me and to my community. So far, my favorite NETWORK opportunity has been coordinating lobby calls with both of our Indiana Senators this past spring regarding the For the People Act. It was clear through those interactions that our legislators absolutely need to hear from us — and I am grateful that NETWORK provides both the avenue and the encouragement to do so.”
Network Lobbies on Issues of Importance to Me as a Catholic
When I retired 2 yrs. ago I knew I wanted to get more involved with advocating for issues of justice. I knew of Network and also knew that they provided educational background on issues and had contacts in Washington. At the same time a friend also wanted to get involved and with the help of Network staff helped in getting a local group started. I love the fact that Network lobbies on issues that are important to me as a Catholic. I also believe that each citizen should be involved in lobbying for justice. The support from Network staff is great and makes getting and staying involved easy.”
NETWORK is Invaluable and Grounded in Catholic Social Justice
I have been a member of a Network Advocates team for about 5 years. It has been a great experience. First because it put me in touch with a faith based group of people who were concerned politically at the local and national levels. The group provided support, encouragement, and challenge. Secondly the input from Network was and is invaluable. Their leadership is grounded in Catholic Social Justice – which is very hard to come by at a parish level. We have been able to direct energies in a focused and deliberate way. It is hard to stay motivated without good direction and support!
“We are an ecumenical and diverse group who otherwise would not likely be meeting up! But the topics interest all of us and our sharing is as free as it is impassioned. Network is the perfect forum and their staff is prepared and supportive. You don’t have to be an expert; you just have to care.” –