Stephanie Pearce: Act, look respectable to catch EPA’s ear
February 15, 2015
Our little corner of the world has so many issues that need to be represented at the state and national levels. We need to remember that presentation is everything and make sure that our representation is thorough, powerful and appealing with a reliable reputation.
To be thorough, we need to make sure that we know not only our side, but all sides of the issues. If we know the opponent's stance and how they think, we can better form our presentation to them. On issues such as the EPA's stances on water and the clean air act, I have come to the conclusion that they don't care how we feel nor do they care how it will affect us. However, if we focused on hard economic facts more than emotional, we could more effectively catch their ears. For instance, if three of the largest tax paying entities in the county close due to the Clean Air Act, how will that look for the state economy as well as the national economy? If the farmers and ranchers have to get a permit every time they irrigate and move their "ditch" with the Clean Water Act, how will that look for the price of food for the rest of the nation? We need to be thorough to intellectually debate using the EPA's claims in our arguments to disprove its reasoning. Being thorough on the issues is key.
To be powerful, we need to work together. I used to write grants. To get funding, one needs to show how different entities will support the project. The same goes for representation of our community at the local, state and national levels. There are groups that one would never think would go together, but if they agree to disagree on some issues and band together on key issues, they really can make an impact. Groups such as Farm Bureau, Bears Ears Patriots, Republican Central Committee, Golf Association, Sheep and Cattle Industries could band together on matters to make a powerful presentation rather than going it alone. They don't need to agree on everything, but think of the impact that could be made together.
To be of reliable reputation, we need representation that has shown to be knowledgeable and can stand the fight. We need representation that isn't afraid to back down but can still debate with confidence and not confrontation. Once confrontation or anger comes into play, no one listens. They need to be able to show passion without demanding people listen or change. When you live your passion for the situation and you represent yourself well, people will listen and eventually follow.
We need this representation to be appealing. First impressions can be made in one tenth of a second. Whether or not we like it, the way our representation dresses, their personal care (hair, makeup, etc.) are judged. If our representation doesn't look professional, their opponents won't listen at all. It doesn't matter if you are a rancher by day, you shouldn't wear cow crap into a meeting. It's important to be real, but it's also important to be professional. Having appealing representation is important to getting others to take us seriously.
These few things are small, just like our community, but when put together can make a huge impact for us. Presentation is everything.