Friday, June 04, 2010

Communication In Legislation

We've come to think of lobbying as something that should be outlawed. At least we don't really feel good about being directly involved in lobbying. The problem is not simple: elected officials can't and don't know everything. They need additional information in a wide number of areas all the time. The people with the information need to be allowed to provide that for the elected officials. The officials need to be free to make decisions that are for the good of their constituents.

In recent meetings this important point was made one more time and with feeling. When important issues related to success are being discussed with the outcome being a new law, then we need unlimited access to trustworthy data. The folk with the problem need to make clear what their needs are and what the impact of other ideas will be to them and their interests.

Another problem: many of us don't really understand how laws are created and how to become part of the law making process. Yes, we did have civic classes, but in many cases even the teachers weren't certain what really goes on during the creation of a law. Professional help is needed. They almost never represent themselves or their own ideas. They represent their clients positions. They depend heavily on their clients for information and thought processes. Then they can advise them of the necessary steps.

For example, broadcasters pay huge fees for the right/privilege to broadcast the music on your radio. These huge fees involve agreements and agreements fail to meet current standards or are hurtful to one or both parties. Those making laws may listen to radio, but they have no clear understanding of how it functions. Somebody has to tell them about broadcasting. If you're a broadcaster then you know more about that than you know about making laws. Communication experts, lobbyists, are in an ideal position to aid the entire negotiating process.

One of the ways to reach congress is by placing advertising on radio and TV stations in the Washington, D.C. area which can reach the members of congress as they go about their personal business. But, those ads are going to cost money. It becomes necessary to raise funds for the specific purpose of "educating" legislators about the issue as you see it. Commercials are not going to be the entire answer, but it may allow conversations to begin and questions to be asked.

Why not broadcast both sides of the issue? Because those who feel that current situations are hurtful are doing exactly the same thing. In fact, if you did not raise the money to place the ads, other people will and their hurts will be addressed and your will not. So money has to be involved.

How about "buying" legislators. Of course, since we're dealing with human beings that is always a possibility. Become active in politics at some level, find dependable and honest candidates to put in office and then let them make the decisions that will be best for our community. Money is and will always be involved, but so are ethics and they are always involved. Give to your favorite PAC (political activity committee) and support the ideas that will improve your world. Be ethical, honest, moral and active. Before anyone can "just do the right thing" they have to know what that is. Get busy.

No comments: