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Washington WOHVA Legislative Day 2016

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Our first official WOHVA Legislative Day has come and gone.

 

With literally 10 members from the Fringe Motorcycle Club attending … and then Tod Petersen, Grant Nelson, Bryan Peterson, Mike Reimer & Byron Stuck … We'd say we had 15 attendees (not bad considering WTA with MUCH more staff investment only had 25’ish!). And not bad considering the lack of any particular lightning rod bills or issues to attract a mass attendance (apparently free chow isn’t enough!).

 

Tod had us all prepared with handouts and instructions, and the Hilton food was ready when we arrived. We had a huge room but knew it would be too big when reserving it “just in case". We spoke to the attendees about our OHV issues, how to identify and meet with their legislators and answered questions. We handed them “thank you gifts” for the legislators as well (a trifold with two chocolates and an orange emergency whistle attached!). With the Fringe group being primarily from one geographic area they ended up moving through the legislative office areas "like a huge tidal wave” making our OHV presence readily apparent!

 

The rest of us had more direct encounters and several of us ended the morning with a 10:45 AM meeting with the Governor’s new recreation advisor, Jon Snyder. Jon is a quick study and, knowing he didn’t know much about motorized off road, he had as many questions for us as we had messages for him. He’s tasked with increasing the economic footprint of recreation in our state, and we explained all the OHV-unfriendly practices in our state that send our members to Idaho, Oregon, Colorado and Utah … instead of staying local, AND instead of bringing IN visitors and their dollars from those other states.

 

Lessons learned from the whole day were:

 

1. promote attendance much more and earlier,

2. Identify legislators before people show up and if possible schedule their visits, and

3. Further simplify our messaging about what’s important (this may be an all-new experience for our members and they need their script to be simple and sweet).

 

We will be back again next year...be sure you are there!

 

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