OIA launches nifty issues-update feature on website

Thanks to Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) -- and a little bit of software the association has acquired from www.capwiz.com -- outdoor industry members can now access information about legislative issues and be able to communicate directly with legislators to convey opinions more easily than ever by heading to the Action Center.
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Thanks to Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) -- and a little bit of software the association has acquired from www.capwiz.com -- outdoor industry members can now access information about legislative issues and be able to communicate directly with legislators to convey opinions more easily than ever by heading to the Action Center.

The Action Center, now a part of the Government Affairs section of OIA's website can be accessed by clicking on http://capwiz.com/outdoorindustry/home/.

From this page, anyone in the outdoor industry, and for that matter, anyone who cares about issues important to the outdoor industry, can quickly scan and access links that will take them to a section to send prewritten letters to legislators each worded to focus on the issue-link you select -- we just sent one to our local legislator, Rep. John T. Doolittle, R-Calif., asking him to support the Get Outdoors Act, and it took about two minutes.

Don't know what the Get Outdoors Act is, or who is supporting it? Clearly, you have not been reading your SNEWS® closely enough, but no worries. There is a link on the OIA site taking you to a very readable information page.

Want to know where OIA stands on key legislative issues and where those issues currently reside in the legislative process? Then head to the Issues and Legislation link, which offers up sections detailing how votes were cast, what bills are pending, and what OIA's official stance is regarding each bill. Each bill features a link that will take you to a brief synopsis of the bill itself, and then offer a roll-call of how legislators voted.

There are links to House and Senate schedules, updated daily, committee hearings schedules, also updated daily, local, state and national legislative candidates, and, best of all, links to print, radio and TV media contacts, also at the state and national level. The Media Guide makes it downright simple to craft letters to the editor and communicate with key editors regarding legislative issues, public policy issues, or anything else that crosses your mind as important to the industry.

In related OIA news, Outdoor Industry Foundation (OIF) -- OIA's non-profit foundation to support programs that increase participation in outdoor recreation and to educate the public about the economic and recreational benefits of the conservation of wild lands -- is the lead sponsor of the first Get Fit With US event to take place in St. Paul, Minn., on June 5. The event, which coincides with National Trails Day, will launch an initiative developed by federal agencies to celebrate and promote the connection between public health and public lands and waters. The federal agencies involved in this campaign include the Departments of Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Interior, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The all-day event will host dozens of national dignitaries including invited guests such as the Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman, Director of the National Park Service Fran Mainella, the Surgeon General, the mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and the president of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Timed to follow the Time/ABC News Summit on Obesity (June 2-4), the Get Fit With US event will mark the first national example connecting the importance of public lands and outdoor recreation as solutions to the American health crisis.

SNEWS® View: Awesome baby! OK, so clearly we watched way too much Dick Vitale and ESPN coverage during the spring, but what OIA has done to make information about legislative issues that are important to our industry so readily accessible, and then provide an easy way to communicate with your legislators and even the press on a local, state and national level, is absolutely awesome. One more example of your OIA membership dollars at work. Not a member yet? What are you waiting for!

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