Monday, May 21, 2012

Ten Practical Suggestions for Communicating

There are two weeks left in this legislative session. Some people are calling Wednesday, May 23, 2012, “D-Day” for retirement. Likewise, there are massive cuts to public higher education on the agenda. The reason all of these draconian proposals have not been signed into law is the votes aren't there yet.

Whether or not you agree with me that many of the proposals are going to hamstring Louisiana for decades to come, the point is to let your voices be heard.

There are a number of documents I recommend for your inspection:

Latest analysis of retirement legislation put out by TRSL:

May 21st article on retirement in the Advocate newspaper (revised from May 20th version):

May 19th article on retirement in the Advocate newspaper with chilling quotes on retirees living on welfare:

My defense of retirement published by The Political Desk on May 18th:

One of many articles on how the cuts are going to harm higher ed and health care:

Here are my Ten Practical Suggestions for Communicating about Matters of Public Concern:

1.) Write a letter to a newspaper ASAP. Better yet, write a letter to 40 Louisiana papers. Write about 300 words and send to your closet newspapers first. Be sure to give your address and phone number. “Dear Editor…”

2.) Send an email to all representatives and senators. Use your home email address and PC. Cut and paste into the BCC line on your email account. All email addresses can be found here:

3.) Drop off a handwritten letter to your senator and representative at their district offices. It may be too late to send regular mail. “Who are your state Senators and Representatives?” - Go to the bottom of the web page. Click on the question and type in your address.

4.) Call and send personal emails to Sen. Elbert Guillory, Rep. Kevin Pearson (Retirement Chairs in Senate and House), and your senator and representative, as well as any other legislators that you know personally.

Contact information for Louisiana Senators:

Contact information for Louisiana State Representatives (House): 

5.) Post an open letter on Facebook and your weblog or personal website. Start a blog and send all legislators the link with an email. You’ll be regarded as an activist, which is good. Get a blog free at Blogger:

6.) Consider joining the Retired State Employees Association - RSEA. It’s important. These retirement bills may need to be litigated.

7.) If you have some time, go to the Capitol. Send notes to your senator and representative, as well as Guillory and Pearson. The sergeant at arms can help, but you need to get the legislators’ seat numbers. Write on the appropriate House/Senate communication slip and give your cell phone number. Say that you want to talk. Be creative with your message.

Senate seating chart:

House seating chart:

(Get the PAR Guide to the Legislature as paper or as an Android or iPhone app. The app would have saved me hours putting numbers in my phone:

8.) Send this email/post to everyone you know on Facebook and your personal email contact list.

9.) Contact all of the retired state employees you know and tell them what's at stake (such as never getting another cost of living adjustment).

10.) Dial in on the LAE teleconference on retirement, Monday, May 21, 2012, 6 PM:

This email has been sent as a private citizen under the protection of the First Amendment to the US Constitution. It is an attempt to get people involved in civic engagement.

Thanks and let me know how it goes. Keep the faith. Louisiana is counting on us.

My best,

Dayne Sherman, Writer, Speaker, Scholar
Web & Social Media:
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***This message speaks only for the writer, a citizen, not for any present or past employer.***