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Preparing for BSL meetings

Writing effective letters to officials
Preparing for BSL meetings
Preparing for BSL meetings
A Message to the Media
Dispelling the myths
Who's against BSL?
Pit Bull 101
The Noble Rottie
The Epidemic

The manner in which we present ourselves, and in effect our dogs, as well as the issues we discuss, are extremely important.  So, in gathering tips for preparing for city council and/or other meetings with officials, I went straight to the experts...

LeeAnn O'Reilly, President
Dog Legislation Council of Canada
First impressions last the longest.  Dress like you are going to meet prospective in-laws.  Clothing should be blue hued - no strong bold colors - subtle works best. Avoid patterns. Avoid shiny.
No tattoos (where clothing that covers them), one good piece of jewellery, subtle earrings, minimal makeup, hair in control.
Public speaking hints
Find a spot above the head of a face that looks familiar, pick two or three heads out and talk to their hair, not their eyes.
If you do use eye contact, make it to the person you wish that particular point should be made to.
BREATH between important sentences, not before an important remark.
If your speech is short, use data and statistics, not emotions.
Your speech cards should only contain raw data, when in doubt just state the facts.
Remember that these people are sold a bill of goods about this non-existent breed.  DO NOT refer to them with cutesy terms like pitties.  Use the term BULL AND TERRIER.
Always remember that these are just people, they are no better than you.
Always thank those in attendance, and use their proper titles.
Sonya Diaz, Founder
Pit Bull Band, Denver, Colorado
People should dress like they are going to a job interview. It truly matters. Even though we like to think our country is an egalitarian one, it is not. Dog owners who look like the council members will be better received by those members.  
Of course, we have to do everything we can to change the notion that we're all dog-fightin', drug-dealin' gangstas. Looking like your average doctor, computer programmer, teacher, accountant, professional person, whatever, will go a long way toward changing the view of Pit Bull owners. I've heard so many times, "You don't look like a Pit Bull owner." We need to change the way "typical" pit bull owners are perceived. 

No one cares about how much we love our dogs. Keep whatever you're saying more toward the facts than emotional stories.
I've found some points to be more effective than others such as, "Not one dog/human safety expert ORGANIZATION has come out saying breed bans are effective." (It's important to say "organization" because if you say expert, you'd be wrong as there are some lone wolves, so to speak, who do thing they work.)
Leisa Boysen, Founder
Iowa Alliance of Responsible Dog Owners
How we present ourselves is so very important. There are those who insist that "thug" is OK because they care about their dogs as much as I do.  Unfortunately,  what these people do not seem to understand is you only get one chance to make a first impression.  The people to whom we are making our case already have a preconceived notion of pit bull owners - it is our job to show them that responsible pit bull owners are just like any other responsible dog owner.  It has nothing to do with how much we all love our dogs, it has everything to do with playing to and utilizing the rules of the game that those who hold our dogs lives in theirr hands play and that is all... politics and impressions.  PERIOD. 

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