Chapter Rewind | By Gabriel Soltren
Economic Development is hot right now. Chris Carmody and Robert Stuart with GrayRobinson spoke about government priorities in Tallahassee. During the Taking on Tallahassee presentation, they explained that 116 million people visited Florida in 2016. However, some in state government want to cut marketing efforts and trim the role of Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida.
Are legislators using social media and technology? Yes. They are increasingly posting videos as an alternative to writing press releases. For example, the governor and the house of representatives posted opposing videos to drum up support for and against Florida’s economic development agencies. A new rule banned lobbyist from texting elected officials while working on the chamber floor. Now there is a simple yet effective phone app from Lobbytools that lets lobbyist know when a legislator is available for texting.
Lawmakers are working on legislation dealing with police body cameras, red light cameras, health care issues and medical marijuana.
At the end of the day, there is no substitute for meeting with your representative. “Politicians are always trying to contact constituents,” said Stuart. “Call your local representative’s office and ask them how they want to be contacted.” Carmody and Stuart suggested that constituents stay in touch with their representatives. Legislators are always thinking about re-election and value what voters have to say.
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