2015 MRF Legislative Strategy Agenda
At the 2014 Motorcycle Riders Foundation's (MRF) 30th Anniversary Meeting of the Minds Conference held in September in Kansas City, Missouri, a Legislative Strategy Session was hosted by the MRF's Legislative Committee. As has been done for the past several years, the MRF requested that it be attended by Sustaining State Motorcyclists' Rights Organizations (SSMRO) Legislative and/or Executive Officers. We welcomed several representatives from our Sustaining Motorcycle Clubs and Organizations as well. The goal was to set the MRF's Federal Legislative Agenda for the 2014 Meeting of the Minds to the 2015 Meeting of the Minds annual cycle.
The MRF’s SSMRO partners responded once again with a majority attendance that resulted in a healthy dialogue focused on motorcycling. The MRF Legislative Committee remains extremely pleased at the aligned and clear direction we experienced again this year from our SSMRO partners. This level of agreement continues to allow for solid action plans to be developed by our Legislative Committee and our Board of Directors that can be effectively employed by our Government Relations Department and our SSMRO partners while in Washington D.C. and in working federal issues in their home states. Additionally, we continue to see productive gains in state legislative activities that support our federal efforts when it comes to protecting on-road motorcyclists, motorcycling, and its associated lifestyle.
2014 Elections and Beyond
Now that the dust has settled on the 2014 election ,the Motorcycle Riders Foundation issues its reflections on what just happened. As you probably already know, it was a good night for Republican candidates with the pick up of some unlikely Gubernatorial, Senate and House seats. The election ultimately gave the Republicans a Senate majority and the largest Republican House majority since 1929.
Some say that the Republicans received a mandate from the country on their conservative platform: that is a little far fetched, considering the President's dismal approval ratings and the tradition of a second term president's party receiving a walloping at the polls in the midterm elections. President Obama has also inserted himself and his policies into the fabric of peoples daily lives, and that has not had the desired effect-just the opposite actually.
Election Day is Coming
With less than two weeks before Election Day, November 4th, its time to start getting ready to vote. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation encourages you to find your polling place and start making decisions about who you are going to vote for, if you have not done so already. Deciding at the last minute at the polling place is never a great idea. Do a little research about all of your candidates, from federal to local-every race, and every vote matter. Sometimes the smallest race can impact your life the greatest.
A lot is in the balance this election, no matter which political party you are pulling for. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is and always will be a bipartisan organization. We do not advocate for the election or defeat of any political party. We do advocate for the election or defeat of individual members of congress that stand in the way of motorcyclists' rights and freedoms, which the MRF has been doing for 30 years.
Plan your day to vote now. Find out if you can vote early, as that is generally the best way to avoid long lines at the polling place, or make the time in your day to vote on November 4th. Being an American comes with privilege, and voting is perhaps the greatest of all. Do not squander your chance to be a game changer.
The Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), Anthony Foxx, held a media only conference call on Friday, September 12th, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation participated. The call, described to journalists as an"important transportation announcement", had the transportation community searching for what the important topic could be.
The subject of the call was to announce this years recipients of the DOT's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery or TIGER grants. These grants are designed to send cash to communities for specific projects deemed valuable by the local communities. For instance Indianapolis, Indiana is receiving money for a downtown pedestrian and bike path, Ann Arbor, Michigan is getting some new bridges and Charleston, South Carolina is getting a bigger shipping port. There are 72 different projects being funded in 46 states spending almost $600 million dollars. This is the fifth year of the program.