Advocacy and Lobbying – What Can a Nonprofit Do and Why Should We?

May 23, 2018
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Schlafly Bottleworks
7260 Southwest Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63143
Venue website

5:30 p.m. - Registration and Networking
6:00 - 6:45 p.m. - Program
6:45 - 7:00 p.m. - Q&A

Advocacy and Lobbying – What Can a Nonprofit Do and Why Should We?

Most nonprofits are not, by definition and in order to comply with legal restrictions, political organizations. However, decisions made by elected officials impact our missions and the people we serve. Despite the impact it can have on our success to engage in these conversations, it can be difficult to know what is allowed and scary to get started. We’ll talk about the basic rules for 501c3 nonprofits, how actively engaging in advocacy and lobbying can help fulfill our mission, and learn some tips and tricks to do it well!

Special guest - State Representative Karla May will be attending this event and sharing how to most effectively engage with elected officials!

Meet the Presenters

Stephanie Co
Manager of Public Policy and Special Projects
Beyond Housing

Stephanie Co has worked in community development in St. Louis for the past 8 years and has a passion for working to advance racial equity in cities, whether in housing, education, economic opportunity, health, or transportation. Stephanie currently serves as Deputy Chief Operating Officer at Beyond Housing, a community development organization based in the Normandy School District, where she supports the organization’s operations, programs, housing and infrastructure development projects, and employee engagement. Stephanie currently leads Beyond Housing’s public policy and advocacy efforts, which includes facilitating a resident-led Advocacy Council, building relationships with legislators, and advancing Beyond Housing’s policy priorities.

Stephanie previously steered community development efforts in various St. Louis neighborhoods by serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Great Rivers Greenway and as Project Manager at Park Central Development. Stephanie has also volunteered with a range of affordable housing, education, food access, and transportation projects, boards, and committees, and is currently a board member of Community Builders Network and Citizens for Modern Transit. Stephanie earned her BA at Washington University in St. Louis and her Masters of Public Policy Administration at University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Karla May
State Representative

Karla May is a lifetime resident of the city of St. Louis first ward, where her mother, city register, Parrie May served as alderwoman. She is a graduate of St. Louis University, where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, and Lindenwood University where she received her Master of Arts in Teaching. She has been employed for the past fourteen years at AT&T, and worked as a union steward with CWA (Communication Workers of America 6300). She also served on the legislative committee and lobbied the legislature for years on issues affecting the lives of working men and women. She is a union card carrying member of CBTU (Coalition of Black Trade Unionists) where she sits on the executive board, St. Louis City Labor Club, and CWA. Karla has been a board member for the St. Louis Philanthropic for the past sixteen years. This board awards grants to agencies focused on education and programs that benefit residents of the city of St. Louis. 

Karla May started her career in politics at the age of eight years old stuffing envelopes, and passing out literature, when her mother former Alderwoman Parrie May was working a campaign for a local politician. By the age of seventeen years old she organized a group of people and began running street teams, and organizing for men and women who she believed were good candidates and had the best interest of the community at heart. She ran her first campaign as a candidate for committeewoman in the 1st Ward where she currently resides. Although she was unsuccessful in that race she continued to participate in her community and serve the people. Many years later the opportunity presented itself for her to take on a bigger leadership role in her community, so she filed for State Representative in February 2010, and ran a successful campaign. She now currently holds the position of the 84th District State Representative in the City of St. Louis.


Price includes program and appetizers. Attendees are welcome to purchase their preferred beverages.


$10.00 AFP Member

$20.00 Non-AFP Member