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April 20, 2009, 8:00 am, at the State Capitol in Austin
Every two years during the Texas legislative session, BikeTexas members take off the biking gear and put on a suit to lobby our elected officials in Austin. First-time BikeTexas Cyclists in Suits participants are often struck by how easy it is to walk unannounced into the office of a State Senator or Representative at the Capitol and talk with staff (and occasionally with the elected official) about Safe Passing and other key cycling issues.
In addition to the suit and bike pins, legislative staff are impressed by the simple 4 x 6 cards we bring summarizing the “ask” by providing a quick bill description, the bill number, list of legislative sponsors, and bill language on the back.
The staff especially appreciates that we insist on limiting the meeting to literally a couple of minutes, assuring them, “we know you are very busy.” Often we remain standing. The encounters are almost always very friendly and cordial, even when we don’t agree on the issue at hand.
After a visit to the Capitol, it is even easier for cycling advocates to schedule a meeting with the representative’s staff in the local district office. This is a key step in developing a coordinated grassroots lobbying effort. It’s also a great way to meet other cyclists from across the state who share your passion for cycling and cycling safety.
The upcoming BikeTexas Cyclists in Suits Lobby Day at the Texas State Capitol starts at 8:00 a.m. on April 20, 2009. The date is the Monday after the two-day MS 150 Houston to Austin Ride.