Spotlight on Innovations and Achievements: Pima Council on Aging

We're proud to highlight the award-winning work of the 2019 winners of n4a's Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards in this weekly spotlight feature. This week, we are focusing on Pima Council on Aging's Digital Advocacy program. The agency was a 2019 Aging Achievements Award winner in the Advocacy category.

Pima Council on Aging took its advocacy efforts to new heights with its Digital Advocacy program. By utilizing traditional grassroots techniques and Facebook and Twitter messaging, the team at Pima also uses an online platform that enables community members to send form letters, publicly track legislation and votes at the state and federal levels, and engage in letter-to-the-editor campaigns. Through this innovative program, constituents have sent more than 319 letters to their state and federal elected officials.
The most successful part of the program has been the grassroots success at the legislature. The legislators have noted an impact because of the advocacy from constituents and community-based organizations (CBOs) around the state. Stronger support in the legislature and at the executive level has led to an increase of $3.8 million in state-planned Social Services Block Grant funds appropriated to Arizona AAAs in FY 2019. This great success is made possible through the veraciousness of the constituents advocating for the AAA and through the Digital Advocacy program that makes advocacy easy for everyone.
People who use this program like how easy it is for them to contact their legislators. They appreciate that the Pima AAA team has already written a sample message for them to send, so they don't have to become experts in articulating complex governmental or funding issues to make their voices heard.

What advice does the Pima AAA have for other AAAs that might want to give a digital boost to their advocacy efforts? They advise that as your AAA increases any advocacy efforts, it is most important to discuss with leadership how to address any negative reactions to your advocacy. Having some sort of response ready to go is very important because being prepared is crucial.
To learn more about Pima Council on Aging's Digital Advocacy program, contact Maddy Bynes, Public Policy & Advocacy Coordinator, at
Want to learn more about the 2019 AIA Innovations winners? REGISTER NOW for the final installment of our four-part webinar series, n4a Lunchtime Innovations, to hear your peers' secrets to success for these award-winning programs. Missed the earlier webinars? No problem, as recordings are available for n4a members! 
For more information about the 2019 winners, read our press release and check out our book of winners to learn how your agency can implement this or similar programs in your community!



USAging Fact: Learn about your peers’ work—and how it can fit into your agency’s goals! The AIA Awards recognizes successful and innovative programs that USAging members have developed to serve older adults. Get inspiration from our 2023 winners!