5.23.2007

How you can get on board with Saving Our Sonics

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:

  1. Find your legislators here by filling out the appropriate information.
  2. 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.
  3. On the official's home page, click the "e-mail" link under the photo.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.
  6. Copy the text of the letter. Repeat steps 3 through 5 for the other two elected officials.
As someone who's done this before, here are some tips for your letter:
  • 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.
I hope this helps. We Sonics fans have a golden opportunity to capitalize on what could be a franchise-changing event. I don't know about you, but I sure as heck don't want to see Kevin Durant playing for my Sonics in a different city.

This city has been given the mulligan of mulligans with the draft pick. It's up to us to work to make it happen.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Nusser-

Well put! One thing to add. If at all possible, try to get your letters/emails to Frank Chopp as well. I don't know if it is quite as easy, but he really is the gatekeeper in this process. If a long term solution gets done, it is going to be largely due to the grassroots effort-- by Sonics fans themselves. The Sonics as an organization are willing/desiring to put it to a vote. Even if it initially doesn't get the majority it needs, atleast it gets the negotiation started.

The organization still believes it originally had sufficient support in legislation, but was Chopp Blocked! So now we need to flood our local legislation and Frank Chopp himself to get the juices flowing once again. Kevin Durant has sparked the masses, and with a rejuvenated fan-base it could/should be enough to get something done.

Briefly tell them about your experiences with the Seattle Sonics- hit on the emotional- because they are not going to listen to the economical/political stances! Unfortunately, the Seatle Sonics as an organization, can't really play the "sentimental card" too well. Regardless of how it is put out there, it would come across negatively... but if its from the fans- its authentic!!

Biggest ways to support- buy up tickets and show up for the games! Next year we are going to see the college player of the year- 43 times!!! I would have paid huge money to watch a single Texas game last year, and now we have him in our backyard for 43 games a year!!! Regardless of the long-term, come out and enjoy the show next season!

Just as big- be vocal and positive about keeping the Sonics here! If you are disinterested and truly feel that there are better things to spend your time and money on- then go do that. Unless you have a personal agenda against keeping the team here, why waste everyone's time vocalizing your negativity? Until the other day, I was a big fan of Jim Moore... does he really have nothing else to write about? anyways. Jim Moore in my books- is officially "Debbie Downer".