May 06, 2004 12:00am
State Legislature From the Trenches
by: Dave Cummings
For the last seven years, I've been one of the many flying to Sacramento to lobby the State Legislature on issues championed by the Free Speech Coalition (FreeSpeechCoalition.com ).
Like recently, we typically arrive on Monday morning, spend the afternoon in intensive update and training sessions followed by an informal cocktails reception where we host Legislators and Staffers; on Tuesday morning we hold a press conference on the steps of the State Capitol and subsequently break into pre-arranged teams and fan out throughout the Capitol for scheduled meetings with Senators/Assembly Members, and/or their staff.
Besides informing them about Industry positions concerning pending legislation, we brief them and educate them on Adult Entertainment issues, and we provide them with an updated White Paper of information and statistics about the Adult Entertainment Industry. Perhaps even more significant is the opportunity for them to see us as intelligent beings, knowledgeable citizens and constituents, and Voters!
One of my team members this year was Mary Cary, who placed a very respectable 10th out of 125+ folks who ran against Arnold Schwarzenegger for the Office of Governor of California---television crews followed us for much of the morning, interviewing both Mary and me, and even sitting in on some of the meetings we had with Legislators and/or Staffers.
Interestingly, there were many instances of office personnel standing outside of offices to "snag" Mary and I as we came out of other offices and herd us into their near-by offices for photos, autographs, and political/Industry conversation. Mary Cary was a big-time hit, both as a beautiful adult star and as a smart, personable, and politically astute representative of the Adult Industry.
During the last seven years of lobbying, I've noted an almost unbelievable and constantly-increasing acceptance of us as respected citizens---indeed, over the years, many folks in the Capitol seem to sincerely and warmly welcome us like old friends, as well as "From the Trenches" sources of Industry information; yes, some sometimes ask us fan-like questions, but for the most part we seem to be viewed more-and-more as professionals and knowledgeable sources of research and front-line information.
The Free Speech Coalition has done a stellar job of making the Adult Entertainment Industry a valuable ingredient in the formulation and legislative process of law-making.
Personally, I'm getting closer and closer to beginning the writing of my "From Altar Boy to Porn Star" book. I look forward to giving readers a realistic and inside look at what I've experienced over the last 10 years as a performer/producer/director---yes, the good and even some of the not-so-good! Like businesses, families, neighborhoods, high schools and colleges, church groups, clubs, and other entities, Adult Industry folks are a cross-section of society; as such, we have similar problems and "bad apples/scumbags", but we also have lots and lots of top-notch people who contribute much to America and others, viewers, fans, and lives they touch. I'm comfortable and proud to be part of the "family"! And, undoubtedly, the adult "family" has contributed Much happiness to society!
We're getting closer and closer to the November elections. If you haven't already registered to vote, Please take a "pledge" to yourself (and the loved ones in your life?) to formally register This week; then, start accumulating information about incumbents and their records/ appointees/ strengths-weaknesses /etc, and get informed about the people running against them-do this for city, county, state and national elections.
Become an Informed voter. Do not leave the selection of our future leaders to others; have a voice, be All-American, Vote!!! Vote your "erotic" preferences/choices, or your "political" preferences, but Vote!!! I thank you, America thanks you, and mankind thanks you for becoming informed and voting This very important year:)!
Wanna feel especially good about yourself today? Find a way to do something extra nice/considerate/helpful/pleasant/positive for someone today; and, do it merely for the sake of doing it! Who knows, it might feel so good to (and "For") you that you'll want to do it again and again!
Enjoy the upcoming summer season, stay safe, and get ready to Vote!