"Grassroots" Is The Name of the Legislative Game
by Steve Beebe

As a lobbyist for ISHA—the other being my partner Mark Scherer—I look forward to meeting and working with speech and hearing professionals from across the state. After you get to know me, you will probably think I sound like a broken record. You will wonder if I can talk or write about anything other than the importance of grassroots involvement with members of the state legislature. Until ISHA has a fully functional grassroots network in place that facilitates effective communication with our state senators and representatives, I must ask for your indulgence.

The late Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill once said, "all politics is local". That quote epitomizes the definition of grassroots. Grassroots lobbying simply means that the constituents of an elected official serve as the primary spokespersons—or lobbyists—for a given issue or issues. Now I’m not suggesting that I won’t help you lobby your legislators, but I compare my role to that of a quarterback on a football team. A quarterback calls the plays, but the entire team must execute the play if it is to be successful.

ISHA understands the importance of retaining lobbyists to be full-time issue advocates in the statehouse. However, success depends directly on you and your willingness to develop relationships with your senator and representative!  If furthering your profession is important to you, please become an active member of the grassroots network that the legislative committee will be working to develop.

Since I used the word "game" in the title of this article, I believe it is appropriate to quote Bobby Knight, who is credited with saying that, "the will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win." Being an active and effective member of the ISHA grassroots network is the will that it will take to win our big legislative games.

Send email with your feedback:  sbeebe@thelobbyfirm.com

It is expressly prohibited to quote from this article or use any portion of it without crediting its author or obtaining permission from Beebe, Scherer & Associates, LLC.

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