Use your influence
You can't shape the outcome if you don't participate

Elected officials – old and new – are out to prove that they are the right people for the job. This is an opportunity to use to your advantage.

How can you influence lawmakers? Show them how much you matter.

On the following pages, Land Line provides tried-and-true methods to be informed and effectively communicate with elected officials. These tools and tips should put you in the best position to express your views on the issues.

By Keith Goble, state legislative editor

Here's how:
Most state lawmakers will be knee-deep into their legislative work by the time you are reading this. Here are some easy steps to make your concerns known to those who shape your state laws.

If you're an OOIDA member and don't know who your elected officials are or how to contact them, you can call the Association's Membership Department at 800-444-5791 and they'll look it up for you.

You can monitor ooida.com, landlinemag.com and landlinenow.com or tune in to Land Line Now on Sirius XM – for updates on legislative action in your state. For in-depth coverage and a state-by-state accounting of action that relates to your business, read "OOIDA's State Watch" in every issue of Land Line Magazine.

If you become aware of a new law proposed in your home state that would affect trucking, call Land Line at 800-444-5791 and ask State Legislative Editor Keith Goble to place it on the Association's watch list.

Form a relationship in Washington, DC
While many issues are hot topics in your hometown and will be debated by lawmakers in your home state, what happens on Capitol Hill during the coming year is also certain to be critical to your trucking business.

The First Session of the 112th U.S. Congress convened in January, and lawmakers are now on the job in Washington, DC. Scores of them are new to the job, so it's time to start the communication process.

Congressional phone number
You can call the Capitol switchboard operator at 202-224-3121 to be transferred to any representative's or senator's office. All you have to do is provide the operator your home ZIP code.

When they are not in DC, try to reach your legislators at their district offices. Contact information can be found on their congressional website, or in the local phone book under the government section.

Congressional addresses
You need to know only two addresses to send letters to your U.S. representative and senators, no matter who they are.

For Senators
The Honorable (full name here)
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

For Representatives
The Honorable (full name here)
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

You do not need to know what building their office is in or what their room number is. You just need the right ZIP code and your letter will get there. LL


Kerry_Evans-Spillman, news clerk, contributed to this guide