We have a great opportunity at hand in Pennsylvania in the upcoming election to build a more humane Harrisburg! The time is ripe to elect into state office more humane legislators – and remove from office those who stand in the way of laws to ensure the humane treatment of animals. And, it’s up to all of us to avail ourselves of this opportunity and to vote compassionate, animal-friendly candidates into office.
You might be thinking – what can I do, I’m only one person? Well, this is one area where the power of one is enormous!
First, as campaign season is poised to ramp up after Labor Day, the candidates will be very friendly, and they, and their campaigns, will be eager to listen to you, a potential voter, about your concerns. Schedule a meeting with a candidate, or send them an email, or call the campaign office, and ask where the candidate stands on specific anti-cruelty bills. Will the candidate support an anti-tethering bill? Or a law to finally end live pigeon shoots? Or stronger anti-cruelty laws in general? Or any of the other many and important anti-cruelty measures which are of concern to you? Let them know that an endorsement from Humane PA is important to you and ask them if they have not yet filled out the endorsement survey to do it ASAP!
This is your chance to become known to the candidate at the ground level; this is your chance to educate him/her and his campaign about humane issues, recruit him/her to the anti-cruelty mission, and how public policy can be used to eliminate cruelty to animals.
Like what a candidate has to say? Then volunteer for the campaign and help get that candidate elected into office! One person – you – can really make a difference and there are many instances of a candidate winning by fewer than 100 votes. There are many volunteer opportunities to help elect a humane candidate, opportunities to fit every comfort level.
Do you like walking through the neighborhood on a nice fall day? Then, distributing campaign literature to your neighbors’ homes is for you! Do you like the one on one contact of talking to your neighbors while getting to know a candidate? Then door knocking with the candidate and introducing him/her to your neighbors is for you! Do you like to entertain? Then hosting a house party for the candidate to meet other voters in your district is for you! Are you more sedentary but don’t mind spending some time talking on the telephone? Then phone banking is for you! Is your time very limited, but you could be available for a period of time on election day? Then volunteering at your polling place is for you! Do you want to help but have no time at all? Then donate to Humane PA to help support the election of humane candidates.
The rewards for volunteering for a campaign are numerous: when that candidate wins and sponsors his/her first piece of anti-cruelty legislation, every minute spent volunteering will have paid off. When the legislator works to move a piece of humane legislation, your volunteer efforts will have paid off. When the legislator votes yes on an anti -cruelty bill, or opposes a bill that could harm animals, you will know that your volunteering to help elect him or her made a difference, an important difference for animals.
So, I’m going to work my butt off this fall to keep my fantastic humane representative in office. I’m going to take advantage of the crisp September and October days by walking the neighborhood distributing campaign literature and door knocking with and for the humane candidates in my district. I’m going to talk to friends and neighbors and family and encourage them to vote for humane candidates, and I’ll volunteer on election day. I will make an extra donation to Humane PA PAC to help support humane candidates and will do whatever I can to help elect into office candidates who either have a track record or who pledge to support and fight for anti-cruelty, humane legislation. How about you?
Elissa B. Katz is the President of Humane PA and a partner in the law firm of Meranze, Katz, Gaudioso & Newlin, P.C. in Philadelphia. She is a regular volunteer with the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) and the Northeast Animal Rescue. She is also a board member of Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.