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AKC Legislation ToolboxThe AKC has materials and resources available to help with education of people and legislators. Here is a link to the AKC Canine Legislation Toolkit.
What is a Legislative Laison
Sometimes it’s a mystery to me just what my “job” is as a Legislative Liaison (LL). What are my responsibilities to AKC, to GSDCA, to the GSDCA Board, to the individual members of GSDCA? How should I represent myself to other clubs, to politicians at Federal, State or local levels? Do I have the authority to be a representative of GSDCA when I write letters of support or opposition and what is the extent of that authority?
I have found that there is LOTS of information out there to educate and be educated. But how does that instruct me how to liaise with my club and the close to 100 regional clubs who may be affected by adverse legislation close to “home?” Legislation that may ban breeding or decrease owned dog limits beyond what we see as reasonable? How can I become a more effective LL for the regional clubs spread across the United States? How does a Legislative Liaison increase communications between the local communities/clubs, so that bad (or good) legislation information can then be forwarded to AKC Government Relations? And what then? AKC cannot be involved in every town and county in the U.S. What can we do to help the local groups help themselves and then feed back the results to the National club LL, who in turn should/could inform somebody in Government Relations of it all.
On AKC’s website, random searching under Canine Legislation will unearth the following under Local Legislation:
I’ve recently become very involved with a group being shunted by their local politicians. Those politicians were working towards banning of breeders in various property zoning. As I was one of the “first responders” in this recent incursion, I‘ve been coordinating with AKC Government Relations Manager Sarah Sprouse, and sending her pertinent updates on the situation. Sarah wrote a strong and compelling letter to the County department involved, and supported by a strong showing by the breeding community; the problems were stopped, at least for the time being. Sarah then made herself available to speak with group members and provide pointers on becoming a force in County politics.
We all must remain vigilant. We all need to become and remain aware of what is proposed by our local jurisdictions. We all must be willing to come out of the shadows and become recognized faces to our elected officials. They say that “all politics is local,” and that’s ever more true when it comes to issues relating to our dogs. I can and will help, but you must be willing to be the grassroots.
- Stormy Hope
|Last Updated on Sunday, 23 October 2011 14:44|