Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway
Your Motorcycle Riders Foundation team in Washington, D.C. is pleased to provide our members with the latest information and updates on issues that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. Count on your MRF to keep you informed about a range of matters that are critical to the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. Published weekly when the U.S. Congress is in session.
Show-Me-State: Governor Vetoes SB 147
Riders in Missouri were dealt a difficult blow this week when Governor Mike Parson vetoed a bill that included repeal of the mandatory helmet law in the state.
Regardless of the inevitable media reports, we at the MRF believe that the reason for this veto had nothing to do with the helmet language. Our contacts in the state capital believe that the bill was vetoed because of unrelated provisions not associated with motorcycles.
Nevertheless, this is a frustrating outcome for our friends in the Show-Me-State who have worked for several years to overturn the helmet law. We are confident that despite this temporary setback, the riders of Missouri will continue to advocate for freedom of choice. We at the MRF are proud of the work done by the riders in Missouri and will continue to assist them in their efforts to end the unnecessary helmet law in the state.
Tip of the Cap: Grassroots in Action
Over and over again we in D.C. stress how you can be effective champions for motorcycle issues back home. We wanted to highlight how riders in five different states took different approaches to make a difference.
Riders in Minnesota took the time to go to a town hall for a Congressman in their district. Townhalls are opportunities for lawmakers to interact directly with their constituents. These riders waited patiently for their opportunity to speak and had a one on one interaction with a Member of Congress to advocate for our priorities. Shortly after that, the Congressman agreed to cosponsor a motorcycle bill.
The D.C. team met with both Congressional offices from New Hampshire on issues of importance to motorcyclists but seemed to get little traction. After the meetings, the D.C. team contacted the New Hampshire SMRO and asked them to make a few phone calls to reiterate our message. New Hampshire riders were able to communicate with Congressional staff and connect the dots between the D.C. team’s message and the priorities of constituents back in New Hampshire. Within three days, the Congressmen from New Hampshire were on-board with the priorities of the MRF.
Riders in New York visited two Congressional district offices to meet with staff. Every member of Congress has at least one office in the district to meet with constituents. These meetings offer a more relaxed atmosphere than we usually see in Washington, D.C. Riders in New York were able to meet with staff and convince them that our issues should be a priority for the two lawmakers. In less than a month, we saw results in D.C., as both Congressman signed on to our bill.
Riders in Pennsylvania used Facebook as a call to action to drive phone calls to a specific Member of Congress and have him pay attention to our issues. This Member of Congress was so inundated with phone calls that before the week was out, he publicly supported our initiative. We in D.C. were shocked at how quickly this lawmaker realized the power of the motorcycle community.
Riders in South Dakota absolutely smothered their lone Congressional office in every way imaginable. They hit this office with letters, phone calls, and in-person visits. South Dakota riders REFUSED to take no for an answer. This first term Congressman eventually learned that it was better to work with motorcyclists than against them. We in D.C. are confident that the Congressman from South Dakota will be an ally for years to come.
These are just five examples of how the strength of our movement truly resides with you, the individual. Thank you to the riders in Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and South Dakota for demonstrating that a grassroots movement can be powerful and effective.
We are currently at 54 cosponsors from 23 states and one territory for the motorcycle profiling resolution. Click HERE to see if your member has signed on.
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