Green Space: Make your voice heard

We get a lot of e-mail from Total Landscape Care readers. So far only a few of them have pointed out mistakes or typos. Most of them have been overwhelmingly positive, and we always appreciate and look forward to hearing from you – our readers.

I was an Air Force brat, and I remember calling the United States from Japan in the late 1970s. We had to use the Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS) provided to servicemen and their families. The format was awkward: You had to say “over” at the end of every sentence so an operator sitting on Wake Island, or some other equally isolated military post, would know to switch the circuit and allow the other party to reply. My mother (and our relatives in the States) would always forget to say “over” during the excitement of an overseas phone call, which drove my military-minded father nuts. It was an eerie experience to hear your words echoing and fading away over the vast Pacific Ocean and waiting long seconds to hear a reply.

The advent of e-mail, Internet and satellite phones have made instantaneous global communication routine. It’s not unusual for me to trade e-mails with a friend in Singapore, conduct a phone interview with a product specialist in England, receive high-
resolution photos from a landscaper in California and review a press release from Australia – all in a single morning.

Lost in the vast scale of our communication capabilities today is the ease with which we can communicate. And that’s where many of us are dropping the ball. The speed, reliability and effectiveness of our communication network means there is no excuse for not letting your elected officials know where you stand on issues both large and small affecting our country.

Landscaping is an industry in flux. And lawmakers – locally and nationally – need your input to make informed decisions on the bills that come before them. Whether we’re talking about irrigation, noise or ozone ordinances, invasive plants or the abolishment of turf, it’s never been easier to weigh in on an issue. All it takes is a few minutes in front of your computer. You can obtain contact information for city, state or federal elected officials with a quick Internet search. And don’t be intimidated: You don’t have to write “War and Peace” when you’re stating your views. A few lines cutting to the gist of the issue, your name and address are usually enough to get your message out there.

Democracy works, but it requires interactive citizens to thrive. And thanks to the wonders of the information age, making your voice heard has never been easier. The next time you’re sitting at your computer, take a few minutes to voice your opinion on the issues facing us as a country and an industry. You’ll be glad you did.

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Attachments Idea Book Cover