5 Thing You Must Do Before The Start of the Legislative Session

The legislative session is just around the corner and in order for you to hit the ground running there are five critical things that you must do before the starting gun goes off and you race through your legislative session.

Is your contact information up to date? This may sound pretty basic, but the majority of advocates fail to update their contact information on each legislator. Are your legislator contacts correct. Do you have their twitter, facebook, and linkedIn information? Is their office and staff information correct? Do you have their updated committee information? Pretty basic right! Get it done.

Have you updated your issue information? This seems pretty obvious and yet the same issue papers and fact sheets are used over and over. Update and make them current. They will do a better job for you when you have to use them.

Have you updated your information with each legislator? Yes, that’s right! Have you check with each legislator and updated your personal and business information. It tough for you to handle inquiries when the legislators have the wrong numbers or emails for you.

Have you shared your client list with legislators? I found that if, I share with legislators the groups I represent, I get more involvement from the policy makers. Share your list and you increase your value to the legislators.

Is your wardrobe update. Now I know this is something that most people don’t think about anymore. But being professionally dressed will set you apart from the majority. Decision makers want to work with successful people. Your wardrobe tells people who you are and decision makers want to work with people that are well dressed, confident, and inspired -successful!

Get these things done now when you have a little downtime. A little preparation today will allow you to hit the  gate running when the session starts. You will be ahead of the crowd.

The People Will Be Speaking Soon!

Early voting is just around the corner for the voters of Colorado. On October 14th, voters will be able to take their mail ballots, make there choices, and mail it into the county office.
How will voters vote? The campaign season has been brutal. Between the TV ads, campaign postcards, radio advertising and the email and social media campaigns, the voters have been deluged with material. My fear is that the voters will believe all the information they have received and decide the candidate based on that information. Those bits and pieces do not represent the real candidate. It does not paint a real picture of the person and what they stand for.
My hope is that the voters will take the information, do the research, and find the real facts about each candidate and then make a decision as to who they want to support and represent them.
Will that happen! Some will and some will not. The voters will decide the representation they will receive. They will have to live with what they get. Time will tell if they made the right choice.

Election Time – The Grand Samba

This is one of the most interesting times of the year. It is that time when every incumbent and candidate are doing the “Grand Samba”. Everyone is dancing to what ever tune permits them to get in front of as many voters as possible. And they are dancing to the money song. Raising as much money as quickly as possible. Both of these as the main ingredients to any successful campaign. If you are not a good dancer you will be like the contestants that are thrown away on “Dancing with the Star”. You will have your 15 minutes of fame and then vanish.
Watch the dancers and enjoy the “Grand Samba”.

Career Work

Last month I had the surprise of my life. I was recognized for 34 years of service to my professional association, the Colorado Society of Association Executives, at their annual conference in Snowmass, Colorado. This is quite an honor I came to find out. The association has been in existence since 1952 and in all that time only five members have been given this award. Pretty amazing!
I have been involved with CSAE since 1981. I joined right after I moved from Albuquerque to assume the position of executive vice president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Colorado. I was 30 years old and committed to be the best association executive/lobbyist I could be. I recognized that I needed a resource to reach this goal. CSAE was that resource.
Over the years I got involved through committee work, volunteering for projects, attending classes, building relationships, earning my CAE, getting on the board and becoming president of the association. All of these experiences enhanced the quality of my professional life. And in June I received my award.
You have all heard this before and know that it is the truth. Know what you want. Go after it with a passion. And mold your life as you want it. We get one shot make it all that you can.

The Clock Is Ticking

Every year, about this time, things really start to get crazy in the legislature. This is when all the contentious pieces of legislation start to be considered.   People and legislators are flying around the capitol. Tempers are short  and overall, this is a time that you want to avoid having your legislation considered by the body.

But sometimes the timing gets thrown off and you find you have to work the piece.  And the only way is to work closely with your sponsors and leadership and work the bill through the process. You need to stay on top of everything, because if you drop the ball and rely on people that are not passionate about your bill, the likelihood that your bill is going to make it to the end is extremely minimized.

The key is to work and work hard. Expanding your sphere of influence as far as you can and keep legislators positive about the legislation. Count votes, have your supporters involved, and stay with your timing and with a little bit of luck your will pass your legislation.

Reflections about Hump Day!

Well here we are, the middle of the week, what is affectionately know as “Hump Day” .  Ever stop and think how that term came about.  I suppose  with it being the middle of the week, people realized that they were closer to Friday and it was all down hill from here.  I guess we could come up with more ideas as to how the middle of the week became “Hump Day” but I am not going there.

I like Wednesdays because it gives me a chance to measure my progress for the week. Have I talked to all the legislators that I needed to talk to.  Where am I on my to-do list.  Am I ahead or behind.  Have I made all the calls that I need to to build new relationships and more lobbying activities.

Anyone who has their own business knows the value of constantly measuring progress.  If you don’t have a plan, how do you know where you are going?  Enjoy Wednesday, “Hump Day” and feel good about the progress your are making for the week.

Spring has Sprung- Yea!

Today is the first day of spring.  We have moved out of winter and on our way to summer. In between we have spring.  Now is the time when we begin to think about warm weather, spring cleaning, fishing and all things attached to warm weather. But do you think about your legislative plan?

Now is a good time to check out what you have accomplished in the first quarter of the year.  Legislatively, the Colorado session is over half way complete.  Have your strategies, plans, relationships been working for you according to your plan.  Is it time to make adjustments?  Be true to yourself and do the analysis and get the results that you want.

Saturday Morning At Panera’s

So here I sit having just finished my birthday scone and having my second cup of coffee.  I am here to visit with my IT guy and prep for the upcoming spring conference of my client the Colorado Assisted Living Association.

We have just been invaded by the winter league of girls softball.  Is this any place to work. To the right of me is a ladies group, to the back of me is a middle aged family. In front of me is the girls softball team.  Is this any place to try and work?

It is interesting to see all the activity that is going on. Life’s little nuisances.  Things that make it all worth while. Have you watched life lately?

Doing Your Best!

In December of 2013 my high school football coach John Harvill, passed away.  There was a private service and the family decided to do a memorial service on March 1, 2014.  I made arrangements to be at that memorial service.

As the time approached their wasn’t a day that didn’t go by that I didn’t think of Mr. Harvill and what a huge effect he had on my life. All of the life lessons he taught me and most importantly how to be a man.

March 1 rolled around and I headed for Gaithersburg High School, in Gaithersburg, Maryland for the memorial. There was a huge turnout, close to two hundred people in attendance. I saw people I hadn’t seen in years. It was a bitter sweet experience. Seeing long time friends for the first time in many, many years and coming together to honor a man that so enriched our lives.

The program was excellent. The speakers were great and when it was over you felt like to had been with Mr. Harvill for just a few more minutes and learn another life lesson.

Mr. Harvill always told us at the end of each game, “All I will ever ask of you is that when you leave this field, you have done the best you can do”.

As I went back to my car I realized that I had been living that quote all my life. That it had guided me through my family life, and professional career.  It was my creed.

I hope all of you have your own personal creed. One you follow day in and day out. It makes life wonderful.

Why Does it have to be this way?

I find it interesting when talking to clients their lack of interest in the political process.  Very few people get involved in the management of their elected officials.  The people that vote in elections are responsible for the individuals that are elected.  They get who they vote for.  That is the extent of their participation.

It is the responsibility of the voter to assure that their elected officials are accountable and transparent.  The people that are elected are the people that control the quality of their lives and the health of their business.  The citizen responsibility doesn’t stop at the ballot box, it is a 24/7 job.  Why the disconnect?