Sunday, April 7, 2013

Guide for Communicators

Tips for Louisiana Citizens During the Legislative Jungle

By Dayne Sherman
Revised Apr. 7, 2013 – 600 words

The legislative session begins on April 8. When I communicate with elected officials, I remind them that Gov. Bobby Jindal has a 38 % approval rate and falling. It’s time to listen to citizens.

Remember, a bill is not dead until it is DEAD, DEAD, DEAD, as the old saying goes. It has to be thrice dead to be done with and gone.

Here are some summaries of important legislation (I will post more later.):

Gov. Jindal’s tax swap proposal

PAR Examines Key Components of the Governor's Tax Reform Plan for Louisiana - 03/21/2013

State Retirement

Retired State Employees Association of Louisiana Legislative Report -

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Communicate

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 closest 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—this needs to be updated for 2013, and I’ll get to it ASAP:

3.) Drop off a handwritten letter to your senator and representative at their district offices. - Go to the bottom of the web page. Click on the question and type in your address.

4.) Contact your senator and representative, as well as any other legislators that you know personally.

Contact information for Louisiana Senators:

Contact information for Louisiana 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.

7.) If you have some time, go to the Capitol. Send notes to your senator and representative. 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.

If you can't go to Baton Rouge, ask to meet the legislator at his or her office. If they can't see you next, tell the assistant your position and set an appointment.

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

9.) Contact all friends and retired state employees you know and tell them what's at stake.

10.) Download an app. PAR has a Legislative Guide as an iPhone or android app for $2.99. I downloaded it, and it works like a charm. You can contact anyone in the legislature in seconds. Calls, emails, addresses, see member photos.

While you are at it, download the FREE phone app for civic engagement: GPO Guide for the 112th Congress. It works great on my iPhone. All you need to contact all of the U.S. Senators and Reps (You can even get the federal budget) -

You may only have time to do 2 or 3 of the steps above. Every little bit counts. Let’s exercise our rights afforded to us by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It matters more now than ever.

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