Grassroots Push: Let’s Hold These Legislators Accountable!
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
In an effort to put the road crisis squarely in front of our elected officials (who have a direct ability to do something about it), we would like to increase the level of grassroots participation from the ENTIRE MEMBERSHIP.
Recently, an employee from one of our member companies reached out to his state senator’s office via email, urging him to take action on meaningful long-term infrastructure funding. As part of the email, he included pictures of deteriorating roads and bridges within that lawmaker’s district. In addition, this employee copied the local media on his email. This created a lot of chatter amongst the public and was picked up on in other parts of the state, as well. It brought to light the real issue that is being ignored by our elected officials and demonstrated the public’s desire to fix our roads and bridges.
In order to reach as many lawmakers as possible, throughout the entire state, we would like ALL MEMBER COMPANIES to do this very same thing in their respective geographical area(s).
IN ORDER TO YIELD THE MOST EFFECTIVE RESULTS, PLEASE DO THE FOLLOWING TO PARTICIPATE:
1. Each employer should assign the task of taking photos of bad roads and bridges to an employee(s) who lives in each House district and in each Senate district where their employees live. For example, in the case mentioned above, a regional manager was given the task of taking the photos that were eventually submitted to the state senator’s office.
The computer file name for each photo taken should consist of the following:
Road Name, Legislator’s Name & Legislator’s District
(i.e. Marsh Road – Senator Smith, District 20)
Below are state websites to help you determine who your State Senator(s) and State Representative(s) are and what district they represent:
a. Senate: http://www.senate.michigan.gov/fysbyaddress.html
b. House: http://www.house.mi.gov/mhrpublic/
2. Once you have collected 10 to 15 photos for each district that really illustrate the poor condition of the roads and bridges in that district, please have ALL of your employees who live in that particular legislator’s district send an email to that particular state senator or state representative, urging them to address the issue of meaningful long-term road funding, and include the photos as attachments.
3. WHEN ADDRESSING EACH EMAIL THAT EMPLOYEES SEND, have them copy the four legislative leaders in the House and Senate. The legislative leaders and their email addresses are listed below:
a. Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville: firstname.lastname@example.org
b. Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer: email@example.com
c. Speaker of the House Jase Bolger: firstname.lastname@example.org
d. House Minority Leader Tim Greimel: email@example.com
This is a very important step. These leaders need to be aware of what their fellow legislators are seeing and hearing about from their respective constituents.
4. NEXT, have them copy a local media representative on the email, as well. Ideally, this should be a local news reporter that has covered this topic in the past. Please click here to access the list of media contacts from across the state.
5. ALSO, please copy Mariam Robinson (MITA Outreach Coordinator) on each email that is sent. Mariam will be keeping a copy of all of the emails and accompanying photos being sent to all of the legislative offices. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Similarly, please forward any responses that are received from any of the legislators to Mariam.
6. When you email your legislators, please feel free to use the message example below:
Dear Senator (insert last name) & Representative (insert last name),
As a resident of your district, I am concerned that we still haven’t found a solution to address the dangerous transportation crisis in Michigan. It is undeniable that Michigan’s roads and bridges are in the worst condition that we have seen in generations, and yet, the Legislature refuses to adequately address the problem and find a long-term solution. Not only will an increase in road funding help fix our deteriorating roads, it will help the state of Michigan become safer and economically stronger for all our citizens. As an elected official, you have the direct ability to solve this problem. Inaction is just not acceptable. Driving around your district and our entire state shows nothing but unsafe roads. With the spring thaw upon us, the condition of our roads (which have been neglected due to lack of funding for decades) will continue to get worse. Attached are photos of a few roads in your district. As you can see, it is not a pretty picture. Please work with your colleagues to find a permanent long-term solution to the road funding problem immediately.
We have also included below the email that was sent to Sen. Hildenbrand as another example for you to use as a guide when composing your own legislative emails.
From: Dave Vanderweele
Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2014 2:08 PM
Subject: Michigan Road Funding Just Right?
As a resident of your district, I was appalled by an article recently published on Mlive.com. Any traveler, whether it be a local resident or an out of town tourist, can tell you that funding for Michigan roads is not “just right.” As the Governor has stated many times, Michigan needs a sustainable solution for our road funding crisis. Not only will an increase in road funding help fix our deteriorating roads, but it will also help the state of Michigan become economically stronger.
An afternoon drive around your district showed nothing but unsafe roads. With the spring thaw almost upon us, the condition of roads, which have been neglected due to lack of funding, will vastly increase. Attached are photos of a few roads in the 29th District. More pictures to follow due to email size limitations.
5650 Whitneyville Ave SE
Alto, MI 49302
Ph. 616 318 0995