If the law has been approved by the business council, they will most likely submit it for public comment. Use this time to garner support for the policy change. Since the business council represents the districts who voted them in, the comment period can act like a campaign. Many find that community meetings and presentations are effective in spreading the word. This is where it helps to have a strong, enthusiastic advocacy committee to champion the law. Their connections and willingness to speak out can greatly add to the positive support for the law change.
We had planned for meetings in each district during the public comment period before the child restraint code was passed. When I talked with the code reviser, she advised that the district meetings were not necessary and the office of reservation attorneys were only required to post the proposed code in each district during the comment period, regardless of what Native CARS did. Few people commented. Concurrently, we were still doing car seat education classes, car seat checks, and had begun a general child passenger restraint media campaign, all of which helped to illustrate the need for a law change.
Unfortunately, when we started putting up posters it coincided with the start of the business council election campaign. It looked like Native CARS was promoting one of those candidates. And people did make comments that we supported that candidate, when it was just a coincidence that our posters and billboards became available during the election season. Although the message was good, we held off on putting this poster up in the candidate’s voting district.
Other than this brief hiccup, the comment period of the law adoption process was straightforward.