Legislative Update - September 2016
AMRPAC - what is it?
A PAC’d house
Less than a month on the job as your Designated Lobbyist and already busy. Johnny D has been trying his best to bring me up to speed on so much. The learning curve for this job is a slight one but I really am appreciative to Johnny in helping out so much.
Let me bring you up to speed on a few things we have going on…
Arizona Motorcycle Riders Political Action Committee
As of this writing, we are in the process of forming a PAC. AZMRPAC purpose is to support candidates and elected officials who support the interests of motorcycle riders in Arizona. We really need your help. You have to know who your representatives are on the local municipal level all the way through Washington. We will do our best to make sure your voice is heard, but please give us feedback if you have heard or read of any representative or candidate that is pro or anti motorcyclist.
We are working on getting an election guide together for you as well based on the questionnaire sent to the candidates. These questions were formulated from the issues YOU thought were important.
I want to encourage you all to not wait for the Motorcycle Day at the Dome (MDATD) in 2017 to meet your legislators. That is a day to invite them to lunch on the lawn. I received an email from Bobbi Hartmann, designated lobbyist for MMA of AZ with some information about MDATD.
“This event is sponsored by ABATE of AZ, MMA of AZ, the Arizona Confederation of Clubs (ACMC) and the MMAA. The date is Wednesday February 15th from 10:00 am – 2 pm on the Capitol House lawn 1700 W Washington, Phoenix, AZ. Please mark your calendars. Everyone welcome.”
Even though the legislature is not in session, there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes. Meeting with candidates, incumbents and others to set the ground work to get things accomplished this year.
I wanted to share with you a few tips to help your designated lobbyists.
What is lobbying? The act of attempting to influence business and government leaders to create legislation or conduct an activity that will help a particular organization
- Telephoning a legislator is a legitimate and common form of lobbying, especially when the session is active and the legislation you support or oppose is pending. At these times the legislator can be called directly at his/her capitol or district office.
- Personally meet with a legislator to communicate your position. Most legislators have office hours in their home districts. Do not be overly concerned if you end up meeting or speaking with staff rather than the legislator. In many cases, this is equally or even more effective. Be sure to treat staff with the same degree of respect you would afford the legislator.
- We should remember that the legislator may neither have read the bill nor have an understanding of it. So your main job is to educate him/her about its impact.
- It is best to visit with legislators in a small group, three constituents is optimum (at most), and to keep the visit as brief as possible. One person should lead off as the prearranged spokesperson. I can help you with that. Going alone is often unsatisfactory because is it easier for a legislator to out-talk the constituent or for the two to reach and impasse. The small group should create the impression that it is representing many more people.
- On a call or in a visit:
- Attempt to relate to the legislator in a personal way so that the legislator will have a frame of reference when the bill is called for a vote. For example, if there is a social, political or business ties, or a shared community activity in the home district, it may serve as identification when your point of view is considered
- Let the legislator know if you are working with others on this issue, if you are active in the community or if you are representing members of your organization (ABATE, AMA, Hog, etc). Mention any other group or individual from the district who supports your stand on the issue.
- Briefly state your position on the bill and a succinct rationale. Ask for your legislator’s position on the bill.
- A concise, one-page fact sheet is a MUST. Leave it with the legislator as a reminder of the issues and also of the visit . . . it should include your name, phone and address for follow-up correspondence. I will help you with this as well.
- After the visit, send a gracious Thank You note. By now you are closer to your legislator than 99% of his/her constituents . . . and your thank you WILL be remembered.
TOGETHER we can make a difference in Arizona for ALL motorcyclists.
Drop me an email or call if you need anything from me.
State Designated Lobbyist, ABATE of Arizona