New York State Campaign for E-Fairness: Op-Ed and Letter to Editor Templates Available

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The American Booksellers Association continues to urge New York State bookstore members to voice their support for the Internet Sales Tax provision in Gov. Eliot Spitzer's proposed budget. To help in this important outreach, this week ABA is making available Op-Ed and Letter to the Editor templates that booksellers can adapt and send to local media. The association is also planning a series of lobbying events, tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, March 19, and all New York State bookstore members are being encouraged to attend. In addition, ABA is urging booksellers who have not yet written to their state legislators, to do so as soon as possible, and to e-mail copies of their letters to David Grogan, ABA public policy liaison, at dave@bookweb.org.

"The campaign for e-fairness has been a long one, but if there ever was a possibility to effect change, it is right now," said ABA COO Oren Teicher. "Our opportunity for e-fairness is here. Lawmakers in Albany will be debating the budget throughout March, so we must act now and not let this opportunity slip. We are asking all our New York State members to join the effort."

The budget is due by April 1, and Teicher noted that the governor and legislative leaders have repeatedly stressed that they are committed to its timely passage.

He urged booksellers to adapt the Op-Ed and send it to their local media outlets, including television stations, or adapt the Letter to the Editor if they think it has a better chance of being published. "The important thing is to have your voice heard," Teicher said. "Legislators need to know that New York State businesses support this legislation. An op-ed or a letter to the editor is a very effective way of getting your local legislator's attention."

ABA is currently working on scheduling a series of lobbying events in Albany on March 19, and it is asking New York bookstore members to reserve the day so they will be able to attend. Details will be forthcoming soon; however, anyone who is interested in attending should contact David Grogan at dave@bookweb.org as soon as possible.

In the meantime, booksellers should send a hardcopy letter on store letterhead to the local offices of their assemblyperson and senator. (Find your assemblyperson; find your senator.)

ABA also asks that you send copies of your letters to Grogan at dave@bookweb.org.

"It is very important that booksellers send us copies of the letters to their legislators," Teicher stressed. "We need to show up at our lobbying event with a stack of letters to send a powerful, visual message to the Albany leadership that New York State bookstores support the Internet sales tax provision." --David Grogan