I not only encourage people to write their representatives often, I do so myself. Fightingfortruckers.com makes the connection as simple as plugging your zip code into a box, and having the magic of the interwebs take you to a screen that has all of your elected lawmakers and representatives, with links to their correspondence pages. It takes about one minute to find out who they are and one minute, ten seconds to get to their email.
During the changeover in administrations for elected offices won in November, making your voice heard is incredibly important, and it’s valuable for the incoming officials to hear it. I write a weekly letter to our Governor, and this time of year, I’m writing an introduction letter to our new Senator-elect, to let him know he’ll be hearing from me regularly, and let him know what one of the families who are dependent upon the most common job in his State is concerned with.
C’mon y’all. Write a letter today. It’s not that hard. Tell them there are real people behind the numbers. Do it. Here’s mine:
December 19, 2016
Dear Senator-elect Portman,
Congratulations on your new position and Merry Christmas from the Parker Family!
We are small-business owners who have lived and worked in Ohio for the past 25 years. We raised our children in public schools in Greene and Clark county, and both have parents who retired from Wright Patterson Air Force Base. My husband is a Navy veteran, his father is an Air Force vet, and my brother served in the Army for two tours of duty in Iraq. Our ties to the military and the Miami Valley are strong, and we love the rural beauty of the area we feel so fortunate to live in.
My husband is an owner-operator truck driver, employed as many of your constituents are by the transportation industry. One of the most common jobs in the State of Ohio is listed as “truck driver,” and it is estimated that 80 percent of operating truck drivers are owner-operators, making small business and truck driving two of the most important lifelines to commerce and jobs in Ohio. Independent truckers quite literally make the lifestyles we are accustomed to possible.
Unfortunately, the interest of the small fleet or independent operation is rarely considered when laws and mandates are contrived in the name of “safety.” When no empirical evidence of this safety is necessary to force the implementation of these mandates, and the cost to install equipment is a burden small business can’t bear, these mandates are nothing more than a way to effectively bankrupt and drive the independent operator and small fleets out of business entirely. When this represents such a large share of the industry, it is catastrophic. There is no safety to be gained in catastrophe.
Quite frankly, we need a champion in our corner. It is my sincere hope that you recognize this and wade through the propaganda of “safety” organizations to understand the need for responsible, reasonable, law making that actually will promote safety, instead of knee-jerk reactionary policy to quell the roar of lobbyist money. Listen to the voice of the people who actually do the job.
You’ll be hearing from me often, sir. I hope we can open a line of communication to help you understand the true backbone of the trucking industry, and not the slick media productions from giant fleets who are self-insured and see drivers as a dime-a-dozen commodity, while simultaneously screaming they don’t have enough drivers. They create their own problems, and their problems become ours as a collective. This is where safety could really be affected.
Thank you for taking the time to read. I look forward to progress in our home state, and sincerely hope we can achieve it together.