Because this effort to fix Daylight Saving Time is basically just me writing blog posts, emailing legislators and talking to people, I never really step back and do any kind of planning or organizing.
I certainly never have marketing meetings to talk about the message.
But yesterday that happened for me in the Georgia state capitol.
And boy did it pay off.
OK, first the message, and then the back story:
Only took me six years to come up with that. Jeesh.
OK, here’s the backstory:
For a while now I’ve been communicating with Rep. Wes Cantrell in Georgia. Like other legislators around the country, I immediately liked the guy. There are definitely both Democrats and Republicans who care about this, and the thing they always have in common is a tendency toward Good Government and being responsive to their constituents.
He told me the bill was coming up for a crucial hearing, and I have a bunch of frequent flier miles and hotel points, so I told him I'd be happy to fly down to testify. I'm so glad I went, because I got something really valuable in return: A clean, coherent message.
When I go to states to testify, I typically spend some time with the sponsor, and then sometimes there's some impromptu lobbying, and quite often some talking to reporters. As a former reporter, I’m always happy to do that.
But I never really listen to what I’m saying, I just blurt out as many facts as I can.
Yesterday, however, after the hearing, I got to sit down with Rep. Cantrell and a couple of other people who had been in the hearing room, including his wife. One of those in the room said that when I said one thing, the whole issue really crystalized for him.
The government is in charge of clocks. The clocks are killing people. It's time to Lock The Clock.
So now I have it.
I got the hashtag #LockTheClock when I testified in Michigan, and now I have, essentially, a vision statement for the movement.
The first line is a given: The government, properly, has an interest in a unified and coherent system for time.
The second line is the gut punch. It may not have been clear when the Uniform Time Act of 1966 passed, but it is crystal clear now that the time change kills people every year.
And the last line is the call to action.
Feel free to share that however you like to share these things.
Thanks to Rep. Cantrell, and all the people I talked to in Georgia, who were as lovely and helpful as could be. Thanks to Noor Younis for the background photo.
And thanks to you for reading this, and helping to get that message out.
This just may be the year!