Almost every weekend in the spring, there is a charity race in my neighborhood. I’m very fortunate to live in a community surrounded by parks, walking trails and a beautiful lake, so it’s very conducive to these types of events.
I will admit I’m always a spectator, not a participant, because I’m not much of a runner. But I do admire those that are involved and am always amazed at their focus and consistent, steady pace.
For advocates, there’s a lesson to be learned from these runners, especially when legislators are in session…and it’s this. No matter their party affiliation, there’s one piece of advice lawmakers share, “Understand that this process is a marathon, not a sprint.”
So when they hear comments such as, “If it gets out of committee, it over for us”, they don’t necessarily believe it or get nearly as upset as the person saying it. Because they know it’s likely opportunities still exist to improve the bill.
It is extremely rare that that a bill starts and ends exactly the same. As lobbyists advocate for their clients, lawmakers advocate for their constituents and their own legislation amendments get filed and adopted on almost every bill that gets heard. That’s the legislative process at work (or the sausage being made)! And it most circumstances, a bill has to go through at least two, generally three committee meetings before it advances to the floor of either the House or Senate.
So you can’t “live and die” on every vote in every committee. And I promise, the world won’t end if the vote doesn’t go your way. There may still be opportunities to work with lawmakers to improve the language to address your concerns.
And like the marathon runner, by remaining calm, determined, and focused on your end goal you will eventually get across the finish line!
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Your Partner in Advocacy…Kathy