This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

» » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » »

driven by deadlines in the process. When AAC sends out requests to contact legislators about a bill coming before a committee or scheduled for floor debate, a quick response is essential. Te best response means nothing if it is too late. Because of the time ele- ment, AAC uses email to communicate its legislative requests to county officials. You can use technology to stay current and com- municate between yourself and your legislators. Much communi- cation occurs in real time via email. However, it is a good idea to determine whether your particular legislators have a preference for phone calls, text or e-mail.

Timing of Your Message is Important: Te life of legislation is

Let’s go back to my starting thought that “all politics is local.”

Here’s the full origin of the quote from Tip O’Neil’s autobiography. He’s talking about his 1935 campaign for Cambridge City Council:

Tis was the only race I ever lost in my life, but in the process, I

learned two extremely valuable lessons. During the campaign, my father had left me to my own devices, but when it was over, he pointed out that I had taken my own neighborhood for granted. He was right: I had received a tremendous vote in the other sections of the city, but I hadn’t worked hard enough in my own backyard. ‘Let me tell you something I learned years ago,’ he said. ‘All politics is local.’

Maintain Respect, Even When Being Firm: Often our posi- tions on issues seem so logical, how could anyone else differ from our opinion? Other lobbying interests pull lawmakers in many directions, so sometimes their vote may not reflect what we want. You can still hold them accountable for a vote, but we don’t want to “burn a bridge” today when we will want their vote on a piece of legislation tomorrow.

Tank Your Legislators: Don’t miss a chance to thank your sena- tors and representatives for their help. It is important that legislators understand that we are appreciative of their efforts to address county issues, even when we don’t get everything we want. Even as you are asking for help with an issue, it is important to thank them for work they have done for your county in the past. Tey often have a thank- less task and their jobs many times are as frustrating as ours — so a little recognition from you can go a long way. As a general rule your legislators WANT to help you.

Any state representative and state senator worth his salt wants to listen to and help their folks back home … especially other elected officials. I believe it is natural in an elected official to focus on resolv- ing their local issues — and county government is rife with issues to resolve — many of them that will take action of the legislature. Legislators also desire to be re-elected and to accomplish that you have to take care of business at home. Tere are many opportunities for you to work with your legisla-

tors throughout the legislative process. Te important point to remember is that the more active you are in the process, the more influence you will be able to have on legislation that could impact your county. Remember point No. 1: get to know your legisla- tors! It will be a great investment for your county. When the 2015 legislative session starts, don’t be in the situation Mark Twain referenced in one of his quips, “If you are looking for friends when you need them … it’s too late.”



Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56