Blog by Senator Roy Afflerbach, Ret.
As we enter the holiday season there is no better time than this to make friends with public officials in preparation for their support of humane legislation in the new year. Local municipal elections concluded in November and state and congressional legislative candidates are preparing for elections next year. Because 2016 is a presidential election year, Pennsylvania’s primary elections will be in April rather than in May, with January 26 as the first day to circulate nominating petitions. Candidates for the 2016 elections have already begun to declare their candidacies and will continue to do so until the final day to circulate petitions on February 16.
But let’s begin with the municipal officials who were elected or reelected on November 3rd. If you read (and if you didn’t, please take time to do so) Penny Conly Ellison’s recent commentary about how to pursue legislative change at the local level, you will recognize the importance of building or further cementing relationships with your local officials. Take time now to send a note of congratulations to those policy makers who have been elected or reelected to serve your municipality. Even if you did not vote for them, congratulate them! There is no better way to open a door for future conversation than to offer a sincere and hearty congratulations upon being chosen to represent the public interest.
As individuals declare their candidacy as incumbents or challengers to seek election in 2016 to the state legislature or congress, find a way to contact them and congratulate them for their willingness to give of their time to be a public servant. Both incumbent officials and challengers are never more willing to “make friends” than at the beginning of their election campaigns. At this time of year, a holiday greeting card is also a great way to introduce yourself. With both the newly elected / reelected municipal officials and with the candidates for state and congressional offices, offer to assist them with information they may need to evaluate legislation related to animal well-being. In doing so, talk about the compassionate treatment of animals and the number of Pennsylvanians who support strengthening laws that protect animals. I have yet to meet an official who doesn’t like to think that they can have a positive impact in this regard.
In short, tis the season to be jolly! Take advantage of the season of good will and make the contacts necessary to begin the new year with new or cemented relationships among your public officials!
In addition to being a co- founder and Treasurer of Humane PA PAC, Senator Roy C. Afflerbach, Ret. is founder and President of The Afflerbach Group, LLC. Senator Afflerbach’s experience and access to government circles spans more than 40 years, during which he has earned more than fifty public service awards. After serving in the United States Air Force, he served as senior staff in the Pennsylvania Senate, a two-term Member of the State House of Representatives, a three-term State Senator, and Mayor of the City of Allentown, the third largest city in Pennsylvania.