I'll admit, I was one of the many Sonics fans that felt pretty defeated by the events of the last year. And I'm a little ashamed to admit that my feelings of defeat led to virtual inaction on my part.
As my buddy Mikey -- who, not so coincidentally, works for the Sonics -- accurately pointed out, I've only written one post on the Sonics in the past year or so, and even that wasn't exactly a ringing endorsement of optimism.
Well, consider me a changed man. Just as the Mariners' fortune changed in the most unlikely of three-month spans, so too can the Sonics' fortune -- if fans and ownership are savvy enough to capitalize on the momentum.
Enter the most powerful force out there: You.
You have the power to influence your elected officials. You have the power to convince them that there truly are some residents of the state of Washington that really want to see the team stay. As the Mariners showed, it doesn't need to be an overwhelming majority for it to happen -- just enough to give the team's lobbyists a foot in the door.
As a place to start, here's a list of "Do's and Don'ts" from Save Our Sonics that will give you some ideas. The biggest thing you can do right now is contact your state representation, which holds the power over whether the current stadium tax is extended to pay for the new arena.
Here's how to do it -- it's not nearly as intimidating or difficult as you might think:
- Find your legislators here by filling out the appropriate information.
- This will take you to a page with links to all three of your elected representatives. Make sure you follow the next steps for each of them.
- On the official's home page, click the "e-mail" link under the photo.
- Fill out the appropriate information. (Your e-mail has a much better chance of being read and responded to if it comes from someone verified to be in their district. E-mails directly to them without using this system often either never get read, or get read much, much later.)
- Write a letter. It can be long, or it can be simple. Writing to a legislator can be a scary thing for a lot of people, but you don't have to be the best writer in the world to get your point across.
- Copy the text of the letter. Repeat steps 3 through 5 for the other two elected officials.
- Be concise. Legislators don't have a lot of time (although they've got a lot more of it this time of year) and you're a lot more likely to be read if you make your points quickly and easily.
- Be respectful. Trust me when I tell you that a little respect goes a long way with these people. From Save Our Sonics: "If the official you are communicating with has been negative about keeping the Sonics & Storm in the area, do not insult them or be rude if you want them to consider your opinion. Express disappointment at their stance, make some well-reasoned points, and tell them you hope they will re-examine their stance."
- Be heartfelt. You don't have to be the most eloquent person in the world to show your passion. Speak from personal experience, and don't use form letters you find elsewhere. Speak from the heart.
- Urge action. Don't just say you like the Sonics -- tell them what you want them to do.
This city has been given the mulligan of mulligans with the draft pick. It's up to us to work to make it happen.