Are you having fun yet?
First I would like to personally thank all of you who lobbied the state house last year; your emails, letters, phone calls, and especially personal visits are why we were successful last year. You proved that South Carolina’s seven highest paid lobbyists could not defeat ABATE’s Legislative Warriors. Many of you also proved you could have fun while you defeated the safety nannies.
Recently many have been asking how we can attract more people to our cause and organization. The answer is simpler than most realize; people just need to know there is a problem, that a solution exists, and that they can do something to make it happen. Don’t forget one other key ingredient: biker rights is FUN. If you are not having fun organizing and lobbying, you aren't doing it right.
The problem is the safety nannies will be back with their paid lobbyists again this year. Odds are they will come loaded for bear this year with more cash to spend in hopes of passing their bills; some of those bills if passed into law will limit our individual liberties. We certainly do not have the financial resources to out spend them in an attempt to buy our government and liberty. Currently our republic, state, and liberties are suffering under “the best government that money can buy.”
The solution is educating our legislators about our issues. Legislators do not have time to read or understand all of the thousands of bills introduced each session; they have to rely on others such as us or lobbyists to inform them about the bills. While the safety nannies have more money they still lack an active base of grassroots activists. We have more lobbyists than the safety nannies; our many biker lobbyists also have the advantage of being able to vote for or against the very legislators they are lobbying or rather educating.
How you can do something to make it happen. Come join your fellow Legislative Warriors early January 11th at Strom Thurmond’s statue behind the state house to lobby and have fun. It is a good idea to bring letters to leave with your legislators or their staff that explain the purpose of your visit. Consider bringing more letters from your friends or family who are unable to attend; the additional letters will help increase the effectiveness of our lobbying efforts.
It is fun to fight for your rights. Working together we are much more effective than alone; the looks alone from some staffers are quite entertaining. It is also interesting to see many legislators happily approaching us to learn or just exchange pleasantries. Most of all it is rewarding experience to kill the bad bills we oppose without spending money or playing by the rules of our opponents. If that still isn’t fun enough we will meet less than two blocks from the capitol for a late lunch and a few beers at the end of our Legislative Warrior Day.
The actual itinerary for Legislative Warrior Day on the opening day of the legislative session in South Carolina begins with a meet and greet at Strom Thurmond's statue at 9 AM. A brief workshop will be conducted about how to lobby from 9:30 to 10 AM before the actual lobbying begins. This will be followed by a hands-on lobbying workshop from 10 to 11:30 AM. Questions and discussion will be welcomed and encouraged during the workshops.
The actual lobbying will take place in the Gressette and Blatt buildings. The Gressette Building is where the offices of your State Senators are located on the grounds of the South Carolina State House. The Blatt Building houses the offices of the members of the South Carolina House of Representatives; it is located on the Capitol Complex at the corner of Pendleton and Assembly Streets. We will be happy to show you both of these buildings and even help you find your legislators’ offices during the hands-on lobbying workshop.
After lobbying in the Gressette and Blatt buildings we will begin filling the senate gallery at 11:30 AM. The session begins at 12 PM but you need to arrive early to secure a seat to view the opening of the legislative session. Pass the word that we need leather in the senate gallery first and foremost rather than in the house gallery.
Legislative warrior patches will be given to the first 300 biker lobbyists beginning at 9 AM; the actual size of the patch this year is 3" x 3&7/8". The after lobby day party will begin at 1 PM at the Flying Saucer; we will have more fun there while sharing what we have learned during the day. If you have not attended one of these events yet you don't know all the fun you are missing.