ILMA Compoundings - October 2020 - 24

"Tell them what your organization is and why it
matters to them, and they usually start
paying attention after that."
Lon Fanning, director of innovation and
technical services, DuBois Chemicals Inc.
"If you need to order supplies and you
know it is going to be a large order,
you're not going to call your supplier the
day before you need them and expect
they can fulfill the order," he said.
Constituents need to be talking with
their representatives regularly. "Most
organizations do fly-ins once a year,
but if we only hear from you once
a year, it is very unlikely anything is
going to happen," Lowry said, adding
that people should talk to all members
of Congress, not just the committees
of jurisdiction and not just leadership.
"A bill still requires 218 votes to pass,
and committees aren't that big."
Lowry recommends constituents
know the issue they want to discuss
and how it will impact a congressional
district or state. "In our district, we
don't have a great deal of specialty
crops, but overall, the state has a huge

24

OCTOBER 2020

| COMPOUNDINGS | ILMA.ORG

number of specialty crops. So, we
know it is a Florida issue even if it
isn't a Florida-2 issue. We support our
state," he said.
It is also helpful to research in
advance to figure out where a lawmaker stands on an issue and why the
lawmaker feels that way. "Sometimes,
you're not going to be able to move
an opinion," Lowry said. "Your best
bet is to go in and educate them and
understand you may not be willing to
change their minds, but you want to
keep the door open. Someday there
will be an issue where you will agree,
and you always want to have that line
of communication open, so you have
the ability to talk to them, bring them
around and get them where you're at."
Before a meeting, Jones researches
elected officials to see what committees
they are on, which organizations they

volunteer with and what their family
background is. "If you can relate your
'I story' to something they've done
or something in their 'I story,' they'll
remember you," she said. "They won't
remember that you're a democrat or
a republican, but they'll remember
you're a family business involved with
the community. They'll remember that
because you're an important contributor to their district."
There are always ways to connect
with elected officials, Jones said. "Even
if they aren't my congressman or legislators, they are interested in talking to me
because I have a connection to them
through my distributors," she said.
Jones suggests creating that "I
story" so elected officials and their
staff can relate. "When you are
meeting with a member of Congress,
no matter what their political party
is, you have to relate who you are
and what your company is. They'll
remember what similarities you may
have," she said.

Bridging the Gap
Lowry said he wants to hear all sides of
an argument, even if he disagrees with a
position. "It is important to understand
why people feel the way they do and
understand what has made them take
that stance," he said. "If a group comes
in and I know going in we don't agree,
but they're polite, they take time to
explain their issue and they're passionate about it, I am going to listen."
Chatterjee said the key is to do
research and find out what motivates
the officials. "Why do they have the
view they have? What shaped it? Once
you have that understanding, you can
apply that perspective to your own
viewpoint and see if there is room for
common ground," he said.
Powell recommends constituents
look for a connection to their platform
or an issue that is currently in play. "If
you can stay above party conflicts and
avoid friction points - we should be


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ILMA Compoundings - October 2020

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ILMA Compoundings - October 2020 - 1
ILMA Compoundings - October 2020 - 2
ILMA Compoundings - October 2020 - 3
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