Guest opinion: Girl Scout cookies and our legislature

Bill Crist

For years I had an up-close view of the Girl Scout Cookie sales process. As the father of two daughters who were in scouting and the husband of a troop leader, I was often called on to help with cookies sales. I’d take the sales sheet to my office and to meetings I attend. After all, everyone loves Girl Scout Cookies.
I’d come home in the evening proud of myself for selling a half-dozen boxes – and usually brought back to reality by the multiple dozens of boxes Georgiana or Gillian had sold that day. 
See, they had an advantage. My daughters were Girl Scouts. They had the vests and badges and cute smiles, so when they asked for the sale, their buyers felt an instant connection. It was easy, as a buyer, to see firsthand who the proceeds from that transaction would benefit. Me, I was something of a “hired gun.” I had good intentions, was selling the same cookies and the money benefited the same programs, but I was an outsider. 
In some ways, Texas Press Association Executive Vice President Donnis Baggett working the State Capitol is like me selling Girl Scout Cookies. He’s selling a good product – the interests of Texas newspapers and our readers – and he’s doing a great job at it. But to really exceed our goals, to move those cookies if you will, is going to take those of us who are directly involved to close the sale. Especially with our own state legislators.
When the call comes from the Texas Press Association to reach out to the legislators that represent you in Austin, please answer. When asked to attend a function and invite your legislators to be our guests, please add it to your schedule. When it comes time to inform a legislator about a proposed bill, it’s important that the right person – you – is personally involved. The most effective salesperson to make that request is always going to be you. It may take a little of your time – and none of us have enough of that commodity – but the return on that investment will be invaluable.
Think the right person asking for the order doesn’t make a difference? Just ask the Girl Scouts.

Bill Crist is the publisher of the Snyder Daily News and a member of the Texas Press Association’s board of directors and Legislative Affairs Committee. He may be reached at publisher@snyderdailynews.com or (325) 573-5486.