Restaurant owners and managers can and should get involved in politics. If laws affecting restaurants are going to reflect the concerns of restaurants, lawmakers need to hear your voice.How can you get involved?
- Keep abreast of the issues. Read trade publications such as Restaurant Business, or the NRA's Washington Weekly. You can also visit the web sites of the NRA and your state restaurant association for their summaries and opinions of current political efforts on your behalf.
- Get to know your lawmakers. Even if you don't agree politically with them on every issue, it is still important for you to have a good relationship since their decisions influence your bottom line. Call or write legislators' offices, send a birthday card, mail positive newspaper clips and anecdotal stories about your business and employees, write letters about how issues affect your business, or host your legislators at your restaurant.
- Keep in touch with your legislators. The NRA's web site offers a wonderful service for busy operators. Just enter your zip-code and up comes a list for your state and national lawmakers. It also has ready-to-send letters and e-mail templates so you can get your opinions to the right people and be heard. Log onto http://capwiz.com/restaurant/home/
- Register your opinions with local media so they can help draw attention to our industry's political issues. The NRA's site lets you find local and national media contact information, has pre-written letter templates, and will even e-mail your letter for you! Visit http://capwiz.com/restaurant/dbq/media/
- Join a grassroots organization. It often takes just a quick phone call, e-mail, letter, or visit with a legislator who makes decisions about the future of your business. Grassroots Opportunities (GO!) Network is the National Restaurant Association's network of politically-active restaurateurs! To join or to receive more information about the program call (800) 241-3422. Many state restaurant associations also have grassroots efforts at work in their chapters. Contact your association for additional information.