Advocacy & Safety - Any experiences talking about cycling to state reps?
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01-15-08, 06:52 AM
Any hints on what is good or bad practices when talking with state representatives about cycle commuting and cycle issues?
01-15-08, 11:42 AM
The best thing to do is get involved with your statewide advocacy group(s), who (hopefully) know the landscape and already have relationships with legislators. Bring your issues to them, and they'll get you going in the right direction. Of course you can always approach legislators yourself, but it's easier to piggyback on people who already have an "in."
Check out the Bikeleague page about speaking with legislators (http://www.bikeleague.org/action/leaders).
01-15-08, 12:26 PM
Despite our governor being a Republican, he is a cyclist and promotes both the activity and sport here in South Carolina. He even rode with our club last year when he was visiting his sister. That was a fun ride with two armed SLED agents in the group and two motorcycle escorts.
The Human Car
01-17-08, 11:57 AM
First and foremost present workable solutions and not just problems.
Next; never overlook your representative's aids. Often you will find a more sympathetic ear among the aids then a wishy,washy or "I really don't have time for this now" type response from your representative. Ask about which aid handles such and such and engage in a conversation. Sometimes through talking with an aid you can get a better handle on why your rep would or would not support your cause and you can fine tune your arguments accordingly.
Always be up and positive about the issue and the Representative.
Be honest and don't exaggerate.
The hardiest bit is to find the reason why bike issues would resonate with your rep or aid.
And always be out to make friends and not pure business. Things like "I'm going out to eat now, would you like me to bring back something for you?" Work wonders even though they rarely take you up on it.
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