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Becoming Politically Active in State Legislation

By: Susanne S. Warfield
Posted: June 11, 2008, from the November 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Why should you join a political association or coalition? Well, would you like to have a say in your future? Do you want to protect your right to practice as a licensed esthetician? Do you want to be a part of a standard-setting organization?

Having your voice heard is the first step in advocating a cause—an action undertaken that can bring about positive change in people’s lives. Being able to communicate effectively with state licensing boards and representatives can help you to foster a better understanding of what you want for your career and what you need to be able to do in order to maintain your livelihood. When given the opportunity to contribute and voice your concerns, your message can be heard loud and clear through participation in a political association or coalition. However, this type of communication is a multilevel phenomenon with two components: content and process.

Content

Content is the message that is being sent. It is important to take the following steps when fashioning your stance.

Define the issue. This sounds easy, but, in the past, has been one of the biggest stumbling blocks for the spa industry. An advocacy group needs to work together as a unit so that issues can be discussed and prioritized.

Determine your position. Once an issue has been identified, a position has to be agreed upon. A collective view may not always be the position of each member, so, when determining a position, guidelines need to be clearly defined for each person’s review.