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#1 thing to say when meeting your local legislator.

Over the years I’ve heard many of our colleagues comment on how they “just don’t do politics” and this is why they don’t get involved with acupuncture politics.

I can completely understand! If someone would have told me 20 years ago that I would become a political activist for the acupuncture profession, I would have told them they were crazy! I’ve NEVER liked politics, and certainly never thought that I would have anything to offer such a position. But when I became licensed, and really started to understand our regulatory laws, I became aware of the fact that we are MAKING HISTORY! What I once thought to be such a bore became VERY INTERESTING.

How is that possible? Well, as a general rule, to me, politics is pretty boring. I’ve always thought social studies to be boring, and certainly watching CSPAN is so boring. So, how does politics become exciting? Well, in my experience, it became really exciting when I witnessed ideas become law. To actually watch the process work, the way our founding fathers intended it to work, was a huge eye-opener. WOW! To me, that was incredible.

I was raised to believe that you couldn’t fight “city hall” and that all politics was rigged to serve the rich and powerful. That our voice didn’t make a difference and there was no point in trying to fight for anything or be politically active. I really believed that to be true until I witnessed, first hand, that hard work and tenacity could make a real, long-lasting difference.

So here I am, 20 years later, still fighting the political fight for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in FL. BUT, I can’t do this alone, and there are not enough of us willing to step out of our comfort zones and start participating. Our small, baby profession needs everyone to help!

Political activism is on-going, not just when there’s a problem. Do they know you as a local business professional in their district? Just last week I attended a political event with a room full of local business leaders and local government officials. Was this convenient for my clinic schedule? NO! But guess what, I put this event on the schedule anyway, and started my patients later than normal so I could attend. As a business professional, we get to choose how we plan our schedule. None of my patients had an issue with this, and many even thanked me for taking the time and caring enough to participate in the political process. They understand how important this is to protect our profession and to protect their access to our profession.

If there was ever a good time to test the political activism waters, it’s now.

Now is the absolute best time to get out there and meet your legislators! Why now? It’s an election year and elected officials are anxious to meet you and earn your vote!

Now is the time to meet them, introduce your practice and give them an education about what we do!

#1 MUST SAY when first meeting your legislator - “Hi, I’m your constituent, I live…”

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had several opportunities to speak with legislators from my county, attend fund-raisers, participate in legislative events and let them know that I support their campaign. This is the best time to meet and greet your legislators!

So, right now, we need as many APs as possible meeting their local legislators!

The inside word on the street is that the physical therapists are going after dry needling AGAIN, in the 2017 legislative session in FL. If we have a chance of stopping this initiative again, we need EVERYONE to help!

Unfortunately, we don’t have the money that’s needed to fight this properly by the professionals in Tallahassee, but we do have passion for what we do. If we all make the commitment to meet with our local legislators, we have a much better chance of beating this again in FL. Or at the very least, when this issue comes up, we won’t be a stranger to them when we call to express our concerns about this legislation.

If you are willing to help, make sure you renew your membership in one of our state associations, or join if you are not a member!

If you understand the necessity of aggressive political activism and public education, join the Society - we need your financial support to continue our political activism activities. If you already belong to another FL association, the Society is offering a special discount - email me for details.

To read more about my take on FL politics, go to:!political-updates/c1v0b

To pick your level of support, go here:!buyitnow/c1zh7

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