Face-2-Face Still Rules at the Texas Capitol
We’ve covered Texas’ proposed Bathroom Bills very extensively in this space — arguing that these morally reprehensible measures will significantly impact business in the Lone Star State. My first column on this topic appeared on December 8 and my most recent post came on July 21.
Over the last year, I’ve also been given the opportunity to speak out against this legislation in numerous press conferences. Last week, I was part of a panel discussion about this topic hosted by the Austin-based company EnviroMedia. Read more about this panel via the Huffington Post.
But August 2 was my first day to visit the State Capitol to meet with members of the Texas Legislature about this issue that is still very much in play as part of the ongoing Special Session. Yes, that’s our small group of newbie / volunteer lobbyists pictured above as we posed outside the building after a few hours of face-to-face interactions.
Indeed, face-to-face was one of the most points of feedback we received from these legislators on Wednesday. That message was repeated early and often. Blogs posts, Tweets, Facebook entries and online petitions are OK. But, if business leaders really want to have an impact on the process and express how strongly they feel about the negative consequences of these Bathroom Bills, then making the effort to personally visit policy-makers at the State Capitol is the most important action that they can do. As one of the representatives we met with put it in no uncertain terms: “Warn bodies coming through the door of my office are a lot more important than anything that happens online.”
So don’t neglect the relatively easy steps of website-based petitions. But, also consider spending a few hours onsite — its much easer than you might think. Connect with me at hugh at sxsw dot com for more info on being part of one of the upcoming visits to the Texas Capitol.
Hugh Forrest tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often cover tech-related trends; other times they cover specific current events. When not attempting to wordsmith or learning to meditate, he serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW in Austin.