LOBBYING BASICS: ELECTED OFFICIALS WORK FOR YOU
Keeping unfair laws off the books is often easier than you might think. Believe it or not, elected officials rely on constituent opinion—that's you—when making decisions. Lawmakers are looking to be attached to proposals that are likely to be popular and ultimately enacted into law. A passionate, like-minded group working together can wield huge influence.
- SUBSCRIBE: Stay informed with updates from SEMA Action Network (SAN)
- CONNECT: Like the SAN on social media
- SHARE: Spread the word on social media about efforts impacting others
- EMPOWER: See free tools on our website, such as state-by-state guides
- ACTIVATE: Use the "action center" to send your officials an email or tweet
- GROW: Encourage involvement—more voices mean greater influence
- RELATE: Meet with your local legislator
Fortunately, we can impact how we are governed through the power of our vote. While SEMA and its supporting businesses actively weigh-in on matters to protect the industry, our thoughts on issues affecting our rides as voters are just as crucial. Most importantly, each of us must seek to unite our diverse hobby and successfully lobby decisionmakers with a common purpose—thereby raising our collective automotive voice as a "grassroots" force across the nation.
HOW LAWS ARE INFLUENCED:
There is strength in numbers when public policy is at stake. Amid constant threat, a unified voice fueled by the SAN sticks up for a thriving auto hobby. More than two decades of legislative victories and communication with hundreds of hobby-friendly lawmakers reinforce why outreach works:
Successful advocacy harnesses the passion of those who care most. While the hobby is constantly on guard, your individual participation will benefit the whole—here's how to make it count.
Always present the hobby in a positive manner for anyone unfamiliar. Remind legislators and others that automotive culture is rooted in both cultural history and emerging technology. Plus, our hobby is a family-friendly activity with important local economic and charitable roles in the community—including support of jobs in the marketplace.
Working the system of government constructively begins with getting involved. Plan to take opportunities to remind legislators about the importance of the automotive community.
Easily locate your elected officials on the SAN website and reach out. In time, develop and maintain productive relationships with them and their staff members.
When referring to a specific proposal in communication with officials, identify its basic details: bill number, your position on the bill and why, as well as your contact information. While SAN action alerts include sample message points, make sure to personalize messages to lawmakers noting what the topic means to you.
Emails and phone calls may work to deliver your message, but nothing beats the impact of a scheduled one-on-one meeting.
SET YOUR MEETING:
Request an introductory meeting around a specific personal issue, prepared with 2 or 3 points for discussion. Expect the meeting to last 15 – 20 minutes, so keep your topic brief and organized. Leaving behind informational material about items covered can be beneficial, as well as a short 'thank you' message to reemphasize your thoughts.
Time to strengthen the relationships you have built. Make sure to get to know the staffers of your lawmaker—they are usually the eyes and ears of their boss and responsible for drafting, recommending, or derailing legislation. You may become an office's go-to expert on issues relating to auto enthusiasts.
Relationships form the backbone of most successful endeavors. Take advantage of available resources within your reach—every ally is needed in the fight for automotive freedoms. Most importantly, do not ignore your civic duty: exercise your right to participate in the electoral process—register and VOTE!
As car and truck laws become more burdensome, enthusiasts must stay active and vigilant. Grab the full set of tools to influence bills in your jurisdiction. Staying informed on issues is the first step. The SAN's up-to-the-minute alerts help ensure your rights are protected.
Help the cause and get involved without cost or commitment by enlisting online now: semaSAN.com There is no fee, SPAM or "catch" to sign up. Your privacy will be upheld and legislative-related information is ALL you will receive.
Great strength comes with great numbers. Please ask your friends and family with an automotive interest to take action, including your online communities.