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Issue brief: Meet legislators on their home turf

March 12, 2015 -  By
Sabeena Hickman

Sabeena Hickman

Building relationships now with your representatives at the city, county, state and national levels is the best way to set yourself up to have a real impact on issues that may help or hurt your business.

The best way to make a difference is to make your case directly to the people who make the laws and regulations. As a business owner, it’s important to get to know your representatives at all levels of government. Attend community and business meetings, and introduce yourself to them. Let your representatives know about your company and industry. When important issues arise, attend public meetings.

You may think you have to travel to the state capital or to Capitol Hill to meet with your legislators, but they all have local district offices, and they all meet with constituents there. It’s often much easier to see them and to get to know their staff when they’re in their home districts. Attending fundraisers will get you noticed by staff and legislators. Then, when an important topic arises, you’re in a great position to let them know how you feel and how it will impact your business. Legislators listen to their constituents, especially those whose businesses affect the local economy.

After a recent election is a great time to make contact with your new congressmen and senators. Visit PLANET’s legislative action center to find a list of legislators by ZIP code. In the center, you also will find prewritten emails you can send them about issues impacting our industry.

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About the Author:

Hickman is CEO of the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP).

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