By FSPA President Brian Kelly, Shamrock Pools / firstname.lastname@example.org
This time of year we start to see print and television ads reminding us that it’s time to start thinking politics. While many of us are consumed by our businesses in our busiest time, we cannot forget to exercise one of our greatest rights in this country. Our right to vote. Millions and millions of people the world over unfortunately do not have the same rights and standards that we, as Americans, hold dear to our hearts. At the top of that list is our right to vote for our leaders and representatives. It is a right guaranteed to us by our forefathers in the United States Constitution, and the one right that separates us from millions throughout the world.
The FSPA understands this privilege and the process that is associated with choosing our leaders. We spend a great deal of time and resources vetting our future leadership and supporting candidates who hold the same priorities as we do. Many in our association feel that government relations is one of the most important benefits offered to our membership.
With this process in mind, the Executive Committee recently has voted on expanding our government relations initiative to include an additional staff person to help with coordination of meetings and events to give us and our members greater ease in which to meet with potential leaders. We have also retained Bruce Kurshner, former lobbyist with UPSA, to help with our regulatory presence at CILB and DBPR meetings. Bruce will also assist our current lobbyist, Jen Hatfield, with her lobbying efforts in Tallahassee and at the FBC meetings. These additions, along with outside consultation on PIPAC and PIC contributions will hopefully prove fruitful for our FSPA initiatives.
But at the end of the day, the real movement and greatest contribution comes from you, our local membership. It is the grassroots actions that truly make a difference in vetting our future leaders. Meeting these legislators on their home turf, actually YOUR home turf, is where we get the most bang for our buck. Talking with these representatives and senators in their own districts in a relaxed environment helps clarify their direction, identify their stances on important issues and helps us determine the FSPA’s future support. Visits to their home offices with a few members of the FSPA in tow shows them our strength and unity as an association.
Each of our local chapters will be asked to meet with the local candidates in the near future. Many will be asked to hold a GR meeting where multiple candidates can attend. Please do your very best to engage these hometown politicians and show them our commitment to the process. The grassroots approach to government relations is the root of our political process. And now is the time to start meeting our future leaders. Please do your best when called upon to help us make good decisions on supporting these candidates.