Partners in Policymaking promotes:

  • Awareness
  • Engagement
  • Action

Partners in Policymaking (PIP) is a national model of advocacy and leadership training. Alaska’s PIP Program is funded through the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and has been designed for Trust beneficiaries and their families. This project identifies individuals from around the state who have not held a leadership position and helps them develop advocacy and leadership skills to improve the lives of Trust beneficiaries.

Recruitment for PIP Internship(s)

If you would like to know more about advocacy, how to make a real difference in your community or around the state, consider applying for the Partners in Policymaking Internship program! The internship programs are blended 6 session non-credit courses, which include weekly online sessions and a three-day face-to-face seminar in Anchorage.

Interns receive support for project activities, as well as funding for travel expenses to participate in project activities. On-going technical assistance from program staff is provided to all present and past interns.

Partners in Policymaking I Internship provides training in self-determination and individual advocacy. You will learn the basic advocacy skills necessary to create change in your own life and gain knowledge to become more successful in peer advocacy.

Partners in Policymaking II Internship is focused on public policy, advocacy and leadership development. Interns will have opportunities to apply their skills in local and state advocacy activities. Applicants for Partners in Policymaking II are expected to have successfully completed the Partners in Policymaking I internship.

Internship Information

What you learn

The Partners in Policymaking internship is a training opportunity designed for individuals with disabilities, behavioral/mental health disorders, elders, people with long-term care needs, and family members. As a participant you will learn to be an effective advocate for yourself or for someone you care about.

  • Learn advocacy strategies including identifying needs, telling your story, creating and implementing your advocacy plan.
  • Explore ways to help individuals maintain choice and control of their lives.
  • Identify local and statewide leadership opportunities.
  • Practice effective communication strategies to promote change.

What you get

  • Group and individual training and support.
  • Training materials and resources.
  • Intensive training institute (2-3 day face-to-face in Anchorage.)
  • Support for training-related travel.

Your commitment/expectation

  • Up to 5 hours per week working on training activities.
  • Participation in regular intern meetings, either face-to-face or by computer conference (E-live) —you do not have to live in Anchorage to be eligible.
  • Willingness to work with other interns and mentors on advocacy activities via phone, e-mail, etc.

Coordinating the I Vote! I Count! Campaign


To empower Alaskans with disabilities and other Alaska Mental Health Beneficiaries to become active voters and part of the political process by eliminating voting barriers, promoting awareness of the voting process and helping people access their right to vote.

I Vote! I Count! Campaign activities:

  1. Voter Registration – getting people registered to vote.
  2. Voter Education – providing information on where to learn about issues.
  3. Voter Participation – helping people vote.

Why is Voting important? Voting is self-advocacy in action.

  • The fate of programs serving people with disabilities will be decided at the polls.
  • 14 million voting age Americans with disabilities are not registered to vote.
  • In the 2012 election, the voter turnout rate of people with disabilities was 5.7 percentage points lower than that of people without disabilities. There would be 3 million more voters with disabilities if they voted at the same rate as people without disabilities who are otherwise similar in age and other demographic characteristics.
  • There are approximately 83,000 Alaskans who experience disabilities with the same historically low voter registration and voter turnout.

How important is YOUR vote?

The #1 reason people do not vote is they feel their vote doesn’t matter. What possible difference could it make?

  • 2010: FOUR votes gave Dan Saddler, the Republican Party’s nomination for State Representative from Eagle River, House District 18, over Bill Cook in the Primary Election, following a recount.
  • 2010: TWELVE votes gave Eric Feige the Republican Party’s nomination for State Representative District 12 Chickaloon over Don Haase and SEVEN votes separated Don Haase from Pete Fellman in the Primary Election following a recount.
  • 2006: ZERO votes separated Bryce Edgmon from Carl Moses in State House District 37 Dillingham in the Primary Election, who ties with 767 votes each as a result of the outcome of an appeal to the recount.  A coin toss determined Bryce Edgmon as the winner.


Related Links

Alaska State Legislature

The Alaska State Legislature website is the place to track bills, locate and contact your legislators, and provide daily legislative schedules.

Alaska Legislative Publications

Alaska Legislative publications, contact lists, and legislative information.

Governor Parnell's office

Up-to-date information on the current Governor of Alaska.


CAPWIZ provides an internet tool that links Alaskans with their policy-makers supported by Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and partner boards within Alaska.

Health & Social Services Commissioner Office

Information on current Commissioner of Health & Social Services, William J. Streur.

Alaska State Public Opinion Message System

Alaska State Public Opinion Message System allows you to send a 50 word message to some or all legislators.

Gavel Alaska

Gavel Alaska is a service of KTOO-TV Juneau and provides live and taped coverage of the Alaska Legislature, the Administration and the Alaska Supreme Court.

Bill Activity, Status, and Inquiry System (BASIS)

BASIS is designed to help the public access legislative information. connects people with disabilities, their families and caregivers to helpful resources on topics such as how to apply for disability benefits, find a job, get health care or pay for accessible housing. You can also find organizations in your community to help you get the support you need.

Interactive Disability Rights Timeline

Disability Law Center of Alaska

The Disability Law Center of Alaska is an independent non-profit law firm providing legal advocacy for people with disabilities anywhere in Alaska.

Lore – Online Course Management

Lore is where interns will access information during there internship.

The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority

The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, is a catalyst for change and improvement in the systems that serve Trust beneficiaries, who include people with mental illness, developmental disabilities, chronic alcoholism and other substance related disorders, Alzheimer's disease and related dementia, and traumatic brain injury that results in permanent brain injury.

Living Proof Advocacy

Living Proof is the first comprehensive guide to telling your personal story as an effective advocate for your cause or organization.

Community Tool Box – Advocacy Planning & Support

The Community Tool Box is a free, online resource for those working to build healthier communities and bring about social change. It offers thousands of pages of tips and tools for taking action in communities.

Contact PIP

Stephanie George
(907) 264-6242

Liz Winfree
(907) 264-6239

UAA Center for Human Development
2702 Gambell St. Suite 103
Anchorage, Alaska 99503
Ph: (907) 272-8270
1 (800) 243-2199
TTY: (907) 264-6206
Fax: (907) 274-4802