ESA's Day on Capitol Hill has come and gone, but even if you weren't able to join your colleagues in Washington D.C, you can still play a huge part. ESA is the voice of the industry, so here are three things you can do – without leaving home – to let your elected officials know the issues that are important to you, your business and our industry. Click here to download information about the four major issues this year.
- Visit your legislators when they get back home.
Your elected representatives don't spend all year in Washington; they return to their home districts periodically to meet with local constituents – like you! You can cover the same industry topics as your colleagues, and let them know that ESA's government relations efforts continue long after Day on Capitol Hill.
FACT: According to a 2010 study by the Congressional Management Foundation, 94 percent of all Congressional staff members said that a visit by a constituent to the home office has influence on an undecided member of Congress.
- Write, call or send an email.
Get the appropriate contact information by going to www.contactingthecongress.org. You'll find links to mailing addresses, phone numbers and email forms for members of Congress specific to your area. Try to personalize the issue by explaining how it affects you and your business; staffers say a personal touch goes a long way toward making your message stand out.
FACT: According to the 2010 study, 90 percent of staffers said postal mail will influence an undecided member of Congress, while 88 percent said email also carries considerable influence.
- Use social media like Facebook or Twitter.
Virtually every Congressman has a presence on Facebook or Twitter. Just do a Google search using the member's name and the word Facebook or Twitter, and you'll get the information you need. On Facebook, click the "Message" button on the legislator's site; on Twitter, simply tweet to the legislator's account.
FACT: Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of staff members believe Facebook is an important way for constituents to communicate their views, while three-quarters (74 percent) think it is a great way for legislators to communicate their views to potential voters.
It's never too late to make a difference! For more information, contact ESA Director of Government Relations John Chwat, at John@TheChwatGroup.com.
Your voice ... your industry!