OPA Policy on Political Advocacy
(approved January 11, 2003)
To promote and support public policy that protects and advances the profession of psychology, insures public access to psychological services and addresses compelling public policy issues that may have an impact on psychology and its consumers.
- To monitor, develop and promulgate legislation, and provide feedback to the Association regarding psychology’s position on significant bills and policies.
- To educate policy makers about mental health issues and how psychological knowledge and perspectives affect public policy, becoming a resource for legislators in all psychology related legislation.
- To increase knowledge of legislative issues and advocacy skills among Ohio psychologists.
- To influence legislation in order to meet OPA’s purpose and goals
Process for Developing and Implementing Advocacy Agenda
The Board determines advocacy policy and identifies issues that are a priority for the organization. The Board is advised in its development of policy by the Planning and Development Committee, the Advocacy Committee and by national trends identified by APA. The Board has authorized Advocacy action on the following issues:
- Scope of practice for psychologists
- Public access to psychology services
- Promotion of diversity and multi-cultural inclusion; and active work to end discriminatory practices, such as discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation
- Prescriptive authority for psychologists
- Compelling public policy issues which impact psychologists, their patients and/or accepted practice and ethics in psychology
Working within the framework identified by the Board, the Advocacy Committee monitors legislation and develops an action plan. As a specific bill is identified, the Advocacy Committee studies the bill to determine whether the bill fits within the identified organizational priorities or needs additional Board discussion. The Advocacy Committee may also recommend that OPA proactively pursue legislative remedies to problems facing psychology and consumers. The Advocacy Committee prioritizes legislative strategies, implements an action plan and reports to the Board of Directors at regularly scheduled meetings.
Between Board meetings, the president and/or the executive director informs the Executive Committee of the ongoing status of the advocacy agenda. In emergent situations, the Advocacy Committee is empowered to act if they have interpreted the planned action to fall within the advocacy agenda identified by the Board.
When follow-up action regarding implementation of enacted laws is necessary, it is the responsibility of the Executive Committee to designate those responsible for such actions.
Members of the Advocacy Team
Monthly meetings of the OPA Advocacy Committee are held on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 8 a.m. via conference call. Contact the OPA Central Office or the Committee Chair if you are interested in participating with this group.
Policy Setting Body
Federal Advocacy Coordinator
Each state appoints a Federal Advocacy Coordinator (FAC) to organize and supervise grassroots initiatives for federal issues in their state. The FAC is the key contact on mental health issues before Congress and he develops and maintains a grassroots network of psychologists within the state.
OPA members from diverse geographic and practice perspectives are recruited to form a grass roots advocacy system.
- Develop a strong Key Psychologists Advocacy Network throughout the State.
- Maintain active ties with significant coalitions of providers and consumers.
- Coordinate efforts with the Regional Psychology Associations, Affiliate Organizations and APAGS.
- Work cooperatively with APA for resources and support.
- Build a wealthy PAC.
- Provide continuous advocacy training opportunities for Ohio psychologists.
Communication Pathway for Advocacy
Legislative Strategy Committee
Advocacy Committee Chair
Federal Advocacy Coordinator
Finance Committee Chair
OPA Staff and Consultants
Executive Director – Michael O. Ranney, M.P.A.
Director of Professional Affairs – Bobbie Celeste, Ph.D.
APA Staff (who assist with Advocacy)
Katherine Nordal, Ph.D. – Executive Director, APA Practice Directorate and Practice Organization
Dan Abrahamson, Ph.D. – State Advocacy Director
Marilyn Richmond, J.D. – Government Relations Director
David Hill, Ph.D. – Midwest Field Liaison
Jeff Cook, JD – Director of Field & State Operations
New committee members are always welcome. If you are interested in learning more about this committees, please contact the OPA office at 614.224.0034.