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All You Ever Wanted to Know About Politics but were Afraid to Ask Presented by Representative Sherman Packard (NH) and Bruce Downs Meeting of the Minds.

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Presentation on theme: "All You Ever Wanted to Know About Politics but were Afraid to Ask Presented by Representative Sherman Packard (NH) and Bruce Downs Meeting of the Minds."— Presentation transcript:

1 All You Ever Wanted to Know About Politics but were Afraid to Ask Presented by Representative Sherman Packard (NH) and Bruce Downs Meeting of the Minds 2012

2 Bikers in the Beltway

3 Personal Involvement With Politicians Before They Are Elected Call your town Clerk or Secretary of State for a list of candidates Speak with the candidates that have announced their intent to run. Study the voting record of the incumbent, how did that person vote on your issues, let them know you are a member of a rights organization. Do you need to replace or educate that person? Let your candidate know that you are going to support them early Render the most assistance possible during the campaign Phone banks, install signs, hold signs, attend fund raisers

4 Working with Elected Officials After the candidate is elected there are many things you can do to continue to build trust and develop a lasting relationship with the elected official Know their Committee assignments Attend Hearings Attend Town Meetings

5 Educating Politicians Politicians are our employees and they need to be aware of our concerns When meeting with your elected officials be prepared Emphasize your position Never lie or make up information If you do not have the answer tell them you will get it for them Always follow up REMEMBER THEY ARE TO BE EDUCATED NOT HARRASED

6 Legislative Session Bill Introduction Sponsors and co-sponsors Committee Assignment Motorcycle Bills usually go the to Transportations but not always Phone Trees to alert members Bring your members up to speed Letter writing campaign Call committee members Attend public hearings

7 Lobbying Your Elected Officials Each time you speak with your Representative you are building an exchange of open communication. By creating this open communication they may be more amicable to your views when you lobby them on helmet or other motorcycling issues.

8 Whenever you talk to your Representative, this is called lobbying Make sure you have all the facts Back it up with written statements and data Politicians may mislead you, but we can never lie to them. It will come back to haunt you FOREVER

9 If the issue is a mandatory helmet law, you should have a clear understanding of your rights group philosophy and its official position regarding helmet laws. Be able to discuss the positive benefits of rider education Be personable and polite When calling your Representative be sure to ask their position on the issue and why. LISTEN carefully and take notes

10 Writing LEtters When writing letters as a lobbying tool keep them short Address the letter properly: The Honorable Sherm Packard When writing to a Chairman, Sub-Committee Chair, or Speaker it is proper to address them as Dear: Chairman Packard Your purpose should be stated in the first paragraph, list bill members: I am writing to oppose/support HB – or SB – Be courteous, to the point, and include key information Address only one issue per letter, keep it to one page, hand written is best and never use a form letter, it will influence no one

11 Dressing for Meetings with Elected Officials Motorcyclist have a certain dress style that may or may not have an effect on the outcome of your meeting If you know the elected official and you are comfortable with him/her its your choice If you do not know the elected official it is better to wear a clean pair of jeans and a collared shirt for a man and a dress or skirt and blouse for a woman

12 Public Hearing To those who will be speaking proper dress is a must DECORUM

13 What to Wear to Hearings When a helmet bill or other motorcycling issue is scheduled for a public hearing, it is perfectly acceptable to attend the hearing wearing leathers and most of all, your rights group tee shirts However, NEVER, NEVER wear an obnoxious tee shirt with foul language on it The exception to the above rule is those who testify should be attired properly; coat, shirt and tie for the men and dresses for the women

14 Testimony One of your speakers should be an expert on the issue One of your speakers should be a woman; bring a different perspective to the issue Practice your testimony in front of a mirror several times Be confident, friendly, but not too… Make your points short, do not belabor the point Keep testimony to 3-5 minutes

15 It is okay to be nervous, try to be clear, articulate Do not repeat yourself If previous speakers have already testified on your point, skip it You should always prepare your speakers in advance Only the Chairman can control the speaking order

16 During the Hearing Testimony will be presented by both sides of the issue Urge all members to attend the hearing, but keep the speakers to what is needed The large presence of motorcyclists will tell the committee members how the group feels No outburst during the hearing, clapping, boos, etc. Legislative hearings are not a popularity contest, decorum is of the utmost importance

17 Written Testimony Written testimony is a must Cover sheet, double-space for member comments Check grammar and spelling Original to the Clerk and copies for every Committee member Written testimony can be different from oral testimony, should be close Testimony must be factual, back up with data

18 If you have multiple speakers, try to hold one to the end of the hearing to rebut any previous testimony You can ask the Chairman if you can present additional testimony and comments after the hearing Finally, remember that all testimony is public record and anyone can request to view or copy it

19 We Hope You Enjoyed the Workshop We will now try to answer your Questions

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