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Owners Urged to Engage in Legislature During Town Hall Session

/images/congress_ngcoa.jpgORLANDO, F.L. (Feb. 8, 2011) - Tim Skubick knows the state legislative process. As a journalist and host of the Michigan public television show Off the Record, he gives his viewers a weekly update on how state government and legislative issues will affect them. But Tuesday morning during the NGCOA’s “Town Hall” session, he turned the tables and discussed several approaches that golf course owners can take to influence the legislative process.
The theme of his presentation, in which he walked around a packed ballroom and asked attendees about their own involvement with the legislative process, was clear: Get involved. If you don’t engage in the legislative process, bad things will happen to you.
Here are some of Skubick’s tips:
Get to know your representatives. Attend functions with your local and state representatives and introduce yourself. Get to know their staffers and secretaries, too.
Work together. Find groups, such as superintendants, with similar interests and work together to fight or support legislation. There’s strength in numbers.
Be subtle. Don’t say to an elected official, “If you don’t do what we want, we will vote against you.” Instead, subtly remind the official that members of your group vote. Intimidation will get you nowhere.
Run for office.
You’re in the best position to present your point of view if you’re on the inside.
Testify before a committee. When important issues arise, testify. But limit your testimony to three minutes. Your chances of getting what you want decrease the longer you talk.
Be honest, above all else. Whether dealing with elected offi cials or the press, always be honest, even if the truth hurts. It will lend you credibility, which is your greatest asset in the political process.

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