"When we first tried an OHV Lobby Day in California a number of years ago, we had about eight or nine staffers or legislators show up," reports the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) California State Representative Harold Soens. "Now we have anywhere from 50-100 elected officials or their representatives attending the evening reception. It's another part of saving our sport and I go every year. Being able to talk with these folks on a one-to-one basis is an opportunity I can't pass up."
The OHV Lobby Day is administered by an umbrella organization called the California League of Off-Road Voters (CLORV). Various OHV advocates such as Harold spend the day meeting with Sacramento legislators and staffers at their offices and in the halls. For the most part, a simple phone call ahead of time will get an appointment with the elected representative or their staff. The lawmakers and OHV advocates are then invited to an evening reception at the Sutter Club where more informal discussions take place. The evening event is officially called the "Friends of the Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Program" Lobby Day Reception and will be taking place this year on Monday, April 11, 2005.
"We begin the day with a briefing from CLORV lobbyist/attorney Pete Conaty," says Soens. "He gives us all pointers on upcoming legislation concerning OHV issues and how we can form a united front concerning the outcome."
"The main focus is to bring a bunch of people into the capitol and make the rounds to their respective elected officials," says John Stewart, Director of Environmental Affairs for the United Four Wheel Drive Associations. "We are able to leave them with reading material and the impression that OHV recreationists do vote and are interested in their elected officials position on issues."
Please mark your calendar and plan on attending. All organizations are encouraged to come to Sacramento and make this year's Lobby Day the biggest yet.
Additional information can be found by visiting the California League of Off Road Voters website.
The Sutter Club in Sacramento has been reserved for the "Friends of the Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Program" Lobby Day Reception on Monday, April 11.
This reception follows a day of visiting the offices of elected representatives in the state capitol and educating them about OHV recreation issues.
A dress code of "business attire" does apply at the event. The Sutter Club states "Guests must meet the Sutter Club's minimum dress standard (collared shirt and slacks), however gentlemen guests are encouraged to wear coat and tie and comparable attire for ladies. Jeans, T-Shirts or Shorts are not permitted at anytime. Cell phones and pagers are not permitted in the Sutter Club."