"Grassroots" Is The Name of the
by Steve Beebe
As a lobbyist for ISHAthe other being my partner Mark
SchererI look forward to meeting and working with speech and hearing professionals
from across the state. After you get to know me, you will probably think I sound like a
broken record. You will wonder if I can talk or write about anything other than the
importance of grassroots involvement with members of the state legislature. Until ISHA has
a fully functional grassroots network in place that facilitates effective communication
with our state senators and representatives, I must ask for your indulgence.
The late Speaker of the House, Tip ONeill once said, "all politics is
local". That quote epitomizes the definition of grassroots. Grassroots lobbying
simply means that the constituents of an elected official serve as the primary
spokespersonsor lobbyistsfor a given issue or issues. Now Im not
suggesting that I wont help you lobby your legislators, but I compare my role to
that of a quarterback on a football team. A quarterback calls the plays, but the entire
team must execute the play if it is to be successful.
ISHA understands the importance of retaining lobbyists to be full-time issue advocates
in the statehouse. However, success depends directly on you and your willingness to
develop relationships with your senator and representative! If furthering
your profession is important to you, please become an active member of the grassroots
network that the legislative committee will be working to develop.
Since I used the word "game" in the title of this article, I believe it is
appropriate to quote Bobby Knight, who is credited with saying that, "the will to win
is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win." Being an active and
effective member of the ISHA grassroots network is the will that it will take to win our
big legislative games.
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