Odd-numbered years offer a unique opportunity for animal advocates

Odd numbered years mean municipal elections. Counties and cities will be holding elections for executives, mayors, commissioners, councils, supervisors, auditors, school directors, and other local offices. Each one has many elected officials with varying degrees of influence. Although there are usually contested races in the larger municipalities for offices such as County Commissioner or Mayor, many of the offices in smaller municipalities often go uncontested and sometimes without any candidates for the post! This is usually because the posts are part-time and offer no pay or a minimal stipend for attending meetings. There is no easier method by which to influence the established order than by carefully identifying the offices for which there are no challengers and becoming a candidate yourself.

Nearly all municipal offices require no special qualifications.

Becoming a municipal official offers an advantage in that an elected official automatically receives greater attention from other elected officials at all levels. Elected officials respect the fact that other elected officials have been chosen by a constituency whose viewpoints they purportedly represent. It can also be a stepping-stone to higher office.

Right now is a particularly good time to be seeking office for the first time.

Voters are restless and want change! They are willing to support someone new to government. Now is the time to evaluate if you may wish to become an elected advocate! Begin by contacting your county voter/elections administration office to determine what public offices will be on the ballot in your municipality.  Pay close attention to deadlines.

Some of the information for this article was provided courtesy of Senator Roy C. Afflerbach, Ret., Treasurer of the Humane PA PAC. 

Be an action hero for animals

There is a real potential to positively impact on the lives of animals through public policy – just one anti-cruelty bill can spare scores of animals from suffering. But in order to get these bills moving and across the finish line into law, each of us needs to become an action hero for animals.

We cannot rest on our laurels and believe that since treating animals humanely is the right thing to do, legislators will vote for and enact anti-cruelty bills into law. Here’s what you can count on – every time there is a committee hearing or a vote, the opponents of an anti-cruelty bill will circulate action alerts and their members will respond. For example, Prior to the Judiciary Committee Hearings, our opposition may send an action alert to its membership opposing or supporting the bill.  At a hearing, in questioning why they should support or care about the bill, representatives may report that they had received over 800 emails for or against it –although with only 9 being from their own constituents.  It is puzzling, sad and disappointing that all of us who care about the humane treatment of animals are still absent from so many issues. We need to do a far better job of speaking out on all animal bills, not just the ones that may interest us most.

Do you think your voice doesn’t count? Think again! Legislators keep count of how many calls or emails they receive on a bill, and pay attention to what constituents – the people who can vote them out of job – have to say. Do you receive an action alert and put off taking action until later, at a more convenient time? Instead, ACT NOW! Most action takes no more than a couple of minutes and we can’t procrastinate when animals’ lives are at stake.

Here’s how to be an action hero for animals:

  1. Share and take action on EVERY alert on social media and with friends.
  2. Contact your legislators by email or telephone each time asked. It takes less than 2 minutes. Really.
  3. Attend town halls and speak up about animal related issues.
  4. Get to know your legislators. Schedule a meeting at their local office to talk about pending bills. That takes some time, we know. But the payoff is huge.
  5. Take a trip to Olympia for Humane Lobby Day every year. Not only will you make a difference for animals, but you’ll have a lot of fun while doing so.
  6. “Like” Humane Voters of WA on Facebook and ask everyone you know who cares about animals to do the same. We will let you know when and how to take action – and make it easy. We promise.

What does an action hero for animals look like? You! Let’s all be action heroes for animals.

Some of the information for this article was provided courtesy Humane PA President, Elissa Katz.