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L i s te n to T h e A B M P Po d c a s t a t a b m m /p o d c a s t s o r w h e reve r yo u a cce s s yo u r favo r i te p o d c a s t s 13 As I dig into massage policy and government relations across the country, it's increasingly evident it's your voice—the massage therapist's voice—that matters. When you show up, speak out, and fight for what matters to you, policymakers listen. That's why you might have noticed a shift in some of our legislative emails and alerts: I believe your voice, expertise, and participation are more important than mine. Whether we're monitoring an ordinance in Citrus Heights or state legislation in Ohio, our priority is to provide sound analysis of those policies and empower you to take your seat at the table. This doesn't mean you'll be sitting there alone. Instead, ABMP will provide the tools and knowledge for you to elevate your voice, then join you at the table. As a part of this, I hope you'll consider doing one of the following advocacy actions in the next year to inf luence policy in your state or city: • Compose a letter to, or call, your state representatives advocating for or against proposed legislation • Attend a legislative committee hearing to provide public comment • Compose a letter to, or call, a regulatory board advocating for or against proposed rules/regulations • Attend a regulatory board hearing and participate in public comment • Start, or join, an online massage community group to discuss important policy matters in your area • Invite folks from your network to join you in these endeavors In April, the Citrus Heights City Council in California opted to postpone a vote on a city ordinance that would have imposed additional licensure requirements for massage therapists in an effort to curb human trafficking. With the ordinance seen as overly burdensome and harmful to the profession, the Citrus Heights massage therapy community rallied to educate the city council and mayor. ABMP member Lauren McLachlan led the charge by elevating her voice and expertise at an April 13 meeting, directly impacting the decision to reconsider the proposed city ordinance. In her view, the ordinance would harm local businesses and unfairly limit the practice of sole practitioners. "Rather than attack and deter legitimate businesses," McLachlan said, "the city should be enforcing the laws already on the books regarding prostitution and human trafficking." McLachlan's remarks proved effective, as Citrus Heights Mayor Tim Schaefer moved to reconsider. "I would say I'm still a little fuzzy on how this is going to get applied (and) whom it gets applied to, and I want to make sure it's applied to everyone equally," said Schaefer. "So, at this point, I'm not sure we have the right ordinance yet. I'd like to work on it a little more and take it up at another time." This type of grassroots advocacy is what gets it done. Government relations work depends on a few factors, but specifically evidence, persuasion, and grassroots participation. McLachlan's work to persuade the Citrus Heights City Council and mayor provides examples of all of these. ABMP LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY For advocacy resources and updates about legislative and regulatory matters in your state, visit Legislators Listen to You By Lance Hostetter ABMP and our government relations team are here to help you do this by providing analysis, composing templates for you to adapt, and/or talking through advocacy strategies. Most importantly, if you're engaged and elevating your voice in policy matters, we're all more likely to succeed. That's why I hope you will claim your seat at the decision-making table. You are the experts. You are the difference makers. Lance Hostetter is the ABMP director of government relations. To contact ABMP government relations, email ABMP Government Relations Director Lance Hostetter

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