Welcome to 2005 and another Challenging Legislative Session!
Welcome to a new year and a new legislative session. Let us begin this year with giving thanks to all our members who have written letters in support of our legislative agenda. The legislative warriors who arrived early Tuesday January 11 th to lobby for our rights in person deserve appreciation and thanks from all of us; we exceeded 100 biker lobbyists by 9:30 AM. Those of you who took time out of your lives to defend our liberties deserve the all the credit for our successes; the rank and file legislative warriors are more important to ABATE than all of our officers. Our legislative warriors should be easy to find and thank at your local chapter meetings or biker hangouts; they all earned a new legislative warrior patch for their efforts.
The best way to motivate volunteers is to present to them the problem, solution, and a plan of action they can take. The problem we must overcome is the safety nannies who wish to legislate away our rights and give the police more power to harass and profile; strangely these same safety nannies are not interested in passing right of way legislation or repairing our secondary roads that kill so many citizens in South Carolina . The solution is education and learning the legislative process in South Carolina . What you can do to help is participate in committee and sub-committee meetings hearing our bills or those we oppose.
Our current situation and problem facing us is challenging. Due to the new senate rules we can no longer rely upon a few powerful senators from districts with large ABATE chapters; we need more large ABATE chapters across our state. 26 senators or 3/5s of the senators present whichever is fewer can now end filibusters; last session 28 senators were required to end a filibuster no matter how few were present. The silver lining is you grew our organization by over 25% during the past year; I believe that we can grow even faster this year.
The solution to our problem is education. We need to take the time to educate our legislators about the bills they are going to vote for or against. That is a two-fold task: first motivate our present members to visit and speak with their legislators; second to organize ABATE chapters in all of the remaining senate districts. The above assumes our members are already educated themselves; reading this newsletter and joining the ezine are two easy ways to become educated on the issues facing us. Many of the statistics quoted and used by our opponents are flawed or intentionally misleading; we have members working on the available statistics to either use them for our purposed or disprove them as appropriate. Remember figures don't lie but lairs can figure.
You can help us attain our goals. First, recruit a new member for ABATE of SC. Lobby your state senator and representative in person and in writing. Learn how the legislative process works in South Carolina ; our web site has plenty of legislative information and links to other informative sites. Contact all the senate and house committees that contain bills we oppose or support and ask to be notified when bills of interest are on meeting agendas; you may also request to speak for or against the bills before the committees.
During the past year we have grown ABATE by 25%; it would seem that one in three members took the challenge to recruit one new member last year. I am again asking that each of you please recruit a new member. We especially need members in the larger and growing parts of our state such as Beaufort, Greenville, Spartanburg, and the Grand Strand; these areas are underrepresented in ABATE despite large and growing populations. The new senate rules make it imperative that we expand into all the senate districts of our state. I promise you I will recruit as many new members as I can this year.
When you get up every morning and look at yourself in the mirror. And ask yourself "have I done all that I can do for motorcyclist rights today?" The best answer I have found is "HELL NO but I am still trying!"
ABATE of SC State Coordinator