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News & Press: Advocacy

The Legislative Session to Begin January 27th

Sunday, January 19, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Shannon Glaittli
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The holidays are over and the New Year is fresh out of the gates.  With it comes change:  large and small, internal and external, desired and endured.  This is also the time of the year that the lawmakers of the state prepare to make changes – often changes that directly affect us in the way we practice pharmacy.  As the legislative session convenes, we need to be prepared to weigh in on those bills that relate to how we do business – for good or for ill.

Many people don’t get involved because they don’t know how.  They are afraid of doing the wrong thing or making things worse.  Others feel that they are just one voice – what good can they do?  That is the point of being part of a professional association.  If one representative gets one e-mail from one constituent, it will have a small effect.  If dozens get e-mails from dozens of constituents, it will have a larger effect.  In that spirit, here are some tips for contacting those who represent you.

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Know your Senator and Representative.  If you know who they are already, great.  If they know you, even better.  If you don’t know, go to  On the bottom left hand side of the page, it says "Who represents me?”  (you may have to scroll down to get to it.)  Put in your address and it will tell you who represents you.  Don’t forget that there are those who represent you at home, and perhaps others who represent you where you work.  Both sets are important.

Identify yourself.  When you send a message, say who you are and where you live.  Let them know that you are among those who elect them, or that you work in their district.  You are the people they have been elected to represent. 

When you have something to say, be concise.  This is a very busy time for our elected officials.  The longer the message, the less chance that they will have/take the time to read all of it.  A short, on the point, message is much more effective than a research paper.

Above all, remember that these are normal people serving you.  Our elected officials are people like you and me who have taken time out of their lives to serve us in the legislature.  It is, above all, a public service, and not an easy one.  Never be rude or threatening – there is no place for it.  Sometimes you and your representative will disagree.  That’s ok.  You can still professionally let them know your opinion, and thank them for their service, whatever the outcome. 

Every legislative session has its own challenges and surprises.  We will send out information as it becomes available and timely to ask people to weigh in on topics of interest to the association.  Please act on those and encourage those around you to do so.  Many clear voices can make sure that our voice is heard as laws are passed that affect the practice of pharmacy.

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