No rest for the weary

The association representing social service providers will be launching a "full court press directed" at raising awareness of their concerns among potential provincial Liberal leadership hopefuls. In an email sent to members, Federation of Community Social Services of BC president Shane Picken explained Premier Gordon Campbell's resignation and the resulting race to replace him "offers us a unique opportunity to talk to politicians who may be in a mood to listen. We need to take full advantage of this situation."

"We have members in every riding of the province and every MLA should hear your agency's story and the story of the value of this sector to the health of our communities and to the economy," he continued. "We have all the messaging; we now have to implement the strategy."

"The race will occur over the next few months, so we all need to consider how best to use this time to our advantage. Local meetings of agencies or agency boards could include opportunities to invite local MLAs for discussions. Local newspapers could be tapped for human interest stories around the holiday season. Letters to your local MLAs could be crafted and sent."

"I recognize that this process seems never-ending," Mr. Picken concluded. Nevertheless, the federation believes "the effort will be worth it in the long run."

The following is a complete copy of that email.

***

From: Susan Choo (FCSS)
Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2010 1:48 PM
To: Shane Picken
Subject: Message from Shane Picken on Premier Campbell's resignation-Apologies for any double-postings-we are having some computer issues!

Dear Colleagues,

This message was originally emailed on November 5, 2010. Apologies for any double-postings-we are having some computer issues!

With the announcement of Premier Campbell's resignation, a period of intense political activity will open up in B.C. as the Liberal party engages in a leadership race. This offers us a unique opportunity to talk to politicians who may be in a mood to listen. We need to take advantage of this situation.

To this end, I am proposing a full court press directed at potential leadership hopefuls, in particular, and all MLAs in general. While the Federation board will consider accessing various public media venues to get our messages out, we respectfully ask that you ramp up your communications activity locally with your MLAs and the media.

We have members in every riding of the province and every MLA should hear your agency's story and the story of the value of this sector to the health of our communities and to the economy. We have all the messaging; we now have to implement the strategy.

The NDP will also be actively talking about the future as they'll be prepping for the next election, assuming they don't also get into leadership battles. We want to be on their radar as well.

This race will occur over the next few months, so we all need to consider how best to use this time to our advantage. Local meetings of agencies or agency boards could include opportunities to invite local MLAs for discussions. Local newspapers could be tapped for human interest stories around the holiday season. Letters to your local MLAs could be crafted and sent.

I recognize that this process seems never-ending, but when we decided as an organization that we needed to rebrand the community social services sector, we committed to an Endeavour that will take a lot of energy and consistent and sustained messaging. We believe that the effort will be worth it in the long run.

Please take the opportunity to discuss this request with your staff, board and community partners to craft a strategy to contribute to this effort. Also, please feel free to contact Jody Paterson if you want some assistance in considering your strategy.

Attached is a short paper on Connecting to Your MLA with a current contact list for sitting MLAs along with four other related documents. If there is anything else you require which would assist you in implementing this strategy, please contact Doug Hayman at the Federation.

With thanks,

Shane
The Federation of Community Social Services of BC
Shane Picken. President

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