Tuesday, June 4, 2013

LRA Chair David Hearn on Advocacy Basics

Advocacy is the most important aspect of your Louisiana Restaurant Association membership and is often taken for granted by many of us. The arenas of LRA advocacy range from federal, state and local lawmakers to regulators and agencies that impact our industry in some way. The LRA weighs in on issues of education, food safety and sanitation, alcohol issues and training, workforce development, workers’ compensation, healthcare, taxes, tourism and seafood, and many others.

David Hearn is the owner of Catfish
Cabin in Monroe and the 2013
LRA Chair.
Becoming the best advocate for ourselves and our industry is the key to maximizing our relationships in an effort to minimize further burdens to our businesses. Here are 10 points to consider when you are advocating on any issue, with any group, personal or professional.  
1.       Research the issue.
2.       Understand both sides of the issue.
3.       Get your story straight. Organize your thoughts.
4.       Brevity is always better.
5.       Be Polite.
6.       Say thank you.
7.       Never, ever make up an answer. “I don’t know” is acceptable. Let me find out and get back to you is better!
8.       Trust your champion.
9.       Patience. It should be hard to make a law.
10.   Understand that everyone wants what they want.

The LRA is able to maintain its various advocacy activities year around, primarily due to our members’ contributions to the Hospitality Political Action Committee (Hospitality PAC). These funds are used to support candidates and seated legislators that are pro-business and sensitive to the needs, issues and concerns of Louisiana’s restaurant industry.

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