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DALLAS, Ga. -- With the state's General Assembly heading back to work on Monday, the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores (GACS) is broadcasting a call to action to all of its members.
According to GACS President Jim Tudor, the time is right for Georgia's convenience store operators to make their voices heard. The new session of the General Assembly convened on Jan. 9, but is currently on a weeklong break, he said.
"[GACS] is trying to get us up and ready," Tudor told CSNews Online. "Fortunately, there were no serious issues in the first week."
While there are no pressing issues before the legislature that the association is currently tracking, Tudor explained that the best approach is to start early. To that end, GACS this week launched its new "Action Center" where convenience store operators can not only register their business addresses, but also their home addresses. They will then be matched with elected officials on both the state and federal levels based on where they vote/live and where they work.
"If we are doing this right, we don't want to wait until the wagon runs off the road to try to pull it off," Tudor said, noting that there is a limited window of opportunity for retailers to get their voices heard. "The legislature runs pretty fast at the state level and can move through both houses in five to six days."
While GACS has done some work on reaching elected officials in the past, it has never before had a system as sophisticated as the Action Center in place, he said. In day one of the Action Center, GACS members generated 70 messages to elected officials.
"We are hoping to increase the involvement [of retailers] and more efficiently use our constituent base," said Tudor. "The secret to success is the ability to harness the numbers that are out there."