By: Scott Hartsfield, FSMTA State Legislative Committee Chair
As far back as you can recall, building relationships has been a vital part of your existence.Ã‚Â
Parents, teachers, friends, family Ã¢â‚¬â€œ all of them are key to our success.
As we mature, relationships become equally important in our work lives.Ã‚Â Co-workers, supervisors, managers, mentors, business partners, customers Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the list goes on.
In fact, in our profession and others, the list continues with suppliers, vendors, manufacturers, retailers, sponsors and others where we engage in some kind of exchange.
I would also like to suggest that we consider the relationships with those that help us with legislative affairs Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Lobbyists, Senators, House of Representatives, including local city government.
My involvement with legislative affairs has always started with City Council Members.Ã‚Â It is very important to know the City Council Members in your City and your personal district.
Your local City Council Member is knowledgeable on county laws and typically participates on Standing Committees, Special Committees or Council Boards and Commissions.Ã‚Â Most City Council Members aspire to be involved in other city government positions as well (i.e., Supervisor of Elections, Mayor, etc.)Ã‚Â Some have interest with State level positions (Senate, House of Representative, Governor, etc.).
Florida Senators, Florida Representatives and Members of Congress typically have two offices.Ã‚Â Their District offices are usually in your local community.Ã‚Â Senator and House Representatives have a second office in Tallahassee.Ã‚Â Members of Congress have their second office in Washington, D.C.
Why is this important?Ã‚Â It is important for you to develop strong working relationships with your local representatives.Ã‚Â You are encouraged to email, write, call and more importantly, visit them.
Legislative representatives are excited to hear from their constituents (you!).
Share with them your appreciation for the work they do that helps our industry or other topics that are near to your heart.
Be candid with your local representative of issues that cause you concern (unlicensed activity, PIP, insurance, proposed legislation, etc.) that may negatively affect massage therapy or other complementary alternative medicine.
To help you find the local (State) representative in your area, go to http://www.flsenate.gov/.Ã‚Â Enter your zip code (bottom, left-hand side) and you will have all of the contact information to get you started.
It is always my pleasure to help you locate other local city representatives Ã¢â‚¬â€œ or help you initiate contact.Ã‚Â You can contact me via email at MassageJax [at] aol [dot] com or phone at 904-745-1900.Ã‚Â Get involved and build that relationship at your local level Ã¢â‚¬â€œ you will be glad you did.Ã‚Â Wishing you much success!