District Advocate is the largest grassroots advocacy movement for music and its makers. This year, nearly two thousand Recording Academy members across the U.S. met virtually with their Senators and Congressional Representatives to fight for continued COVID-19 relief and recovery assistance, social justice reform, and creators’ rights.
Earlier this year, Recording Academy members played an integral role in ensuring that the CARES Act provided critical support for the music community dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. As District Advocates they showed Congress this was no one hit wonder—there’s much more that lawmakers can and must do to protect music and its makers.
"District Advocate is a tremendous advocacy tool ... I love being a part of this movement."
"It's important for me to take ownership of my own independent career as an artist. That means taking an active part in legislation that affects my future income and opportunities as a performing artist."
“District Advocate is a way to ensure my voice is heard.”
"The Recording Academy provided a very clear and concise direction for us. This made our chat with the Congressman flow easily and quickly for a positive experience."
"If we don’t give ourselves a voice out here, who will? It’s up to us to push for better lives for our music community."
"I complain a lot about my experiences in the music business. I decided to stop complaining and try to do something about it."
"Every time I find myself in the office of one of the Congressmen or Senators as an advocate for these issues, I leave feeling heard and hopeful."
"Building relationships in congress to further progress for music creators is critical. There is a personal connection made at District Advocate day ...that makes our meetings memorable and unique."
The Recording Academy’s District Advocate program is the largest grassroots advocacy movement for music and its creators. Held annually in the fall, Recording Academy members visit the local district offices of their elected representatives to discuss issues affecting their livelihoods, including fair compensation for songwriters, performers, and studio professionals.
IIn light of COVID-19, this year District Advocate will take place virtually, with participants in video conferencing with their elected officials to discuss pressing issues impacting the music community, such as providing pandemic-related relief and assistance to the creative community, pushing for equitable treatment and social justice reforms, and ensuring that the rights of all creators are always protected. Additionally, participants will be given opportunities to engage with lawmakers prior to their virtual meetings in a series of calls-to-action across social media and other platforms to ensure immediate and sustained activism.
All active members of the Recording Academy are eligible to participate, including Voting, Professional (formerly Associate), and Student members. Members can register here >>
With Congress responding quickly to the ongoing effects of the pandemic and the urgent call to action on social justice issues, the Recording Academy wants to empower members to make an impact before the opportunity passes.
For Recording Academy members, being part of District Advocate is more than just showing up to a meeting on District Advocate day. Being an advocate means staying active in the weeks leading up to the virtual meetings to engage on key priorities through social media and calls-to-action on specific legislative issues.
For the virtual meetings on District Advocate day, advocates simply have to be themselves, discuss how COVID-19 is affecting your life, your career, and your business, and provide real-world examples of how Congress can pass legislation to aid creators in need.
All meetings are scheduled by the Recording Academy’s Advocacy team in Washington, D.C. A representative from your local chapter will reach out to you directly with your meeting times as soon as it has been scheduled. For security purposes, any Zoom link or call-in numbers will be sent out 24 hours in advance of the meeting. Advocates are asked to reserve all of District Advocate day in their calendars to accommodate schedules until the meeting is booked. Please note: In some cases, due to an elected official’s busy schedule, meetings may not be confirmed until the day before. Your flexibility is greatly appreciated.
Members of Congress have busy, often-changing schedules. Academy staff will be working on scheduling a meeting time and will strive to notify you as soon as possible once the time is finalized. However, until a meeting is secured with the office, we do ask that you hold the day and remain flexible.
This year all meetings will be virtual and take place via Zoom or an alternative video conference system. If your computer, tablet or smartphone cannot accommodate a video conference, a dial-in number will be provided. In addition, certain congressional offices may have unique rules and protocols that limit video conferencing.
Meeting with a staff member is just as important as meeting with your Senator or Representative. Staff are the eyes and ears for their bosses and can influence their decisions on policy making.
Your home address is required to match you with the correct lawmaker that represents your local district. Your phone number is necessary in case your meeting group leader (aka Team Captain) needs to contact you with any last minute scheduling changes or conflicts. We may also send text messages with relevant information and/or action items for participants leading up to District Advocate day and beyond.
Yes. The Academy will provide you with everything you need prior to your District Advocate day meeting, including talking points on the important legislative issues and a social media guide with tips to help amplify your efforts—you will be fully equipped to be an effective advocate. Participants can also submit specific questions to DistrictAdvocate@recordingacademy.com.