Hearing and rally alert! Join us October 22 at 10am on the Massachusetts State House steps for a rally to speak out against traveling acts that use exotic animals, and then at 11am in room B-2 of the State House for a hearing on legislation to end this exploitation.
Read our press release here.
Please join us in attending a hearing before the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development for S. 2028/H. 2934, An Act relative to the use of elephants, big cats, primates, and bears in traveling exhibits and shows. Learn more about this legislation.
Prior to the hearing, a rally will be held at 10am in front of the Massachusetts State House, for advocates to join together in support of S. 2028/H. 2934. RSVP and learn more about the rally.
Can’t join us? You can still take action by contacting your state senator and state representative and asking them to support these bills, especially if they sit on the Tourism Committee. Learn who represents you here. If your legislators are already co-sponsors (see list below) be sure to thank them for their support!
Below are details about the hearing, tips for testimony, and information about the Joint Committee and co-sponsors.
Schedule for the Day
The hearing is on Tuesday, October 22, 2019. It starts at 11am in room B-2 at the State House in Boston; please allow time for traffic and parking, and to sign in to testify. If you’re early, there’s a coffee shop on the 4th floor and you can also tour the State House. The hearing will end when everyone who signed in has had a chance to speak.
How to Get to the State House
If you are not familiar with downtown Boston, you may want to review these driving and public transportation directions to the State House. The least expensive parking option is the garage underneath Boston Common (map and rates available here). Please be aware that parking at the Boston Common requires walking several blocks up the hill to the State House. Leave time to enjoy the stroll!
What to Wear
Business attire is appropriate for the State House, though you don’t have to go out and buy a new suit for the hearing — just dress neatly and professionally.
What to Expect
Hearings generally start with testimony from legislators — likely the bill sponsor/co-sponsors (legislators will be taken out of turn during the hearing, too). Names will then be called from the sign-in sheet — sometimes in order, sometimes by bill, sometimes back/forth based on support/opposition to the legislation.
Tips for Testimony (oral and written)
There will be a place to sign in when you get to the hearing room. When testifying, it’s usually best to tell your story — why these bills matters to you and how it affects the animals you care about.
It is good to try not to repeat in detail what other speakers have said and to be brief (each person will have ONLY 3 minutes to testify). You will be able to testify on both S.2028 and H. 2934 (they are identical) at the same time, so you’ll only need to get up once. Committee members may ask you a question during or after your testimony; if you don’t know the answer to a question, it’s fine to say so and then follow-up after the hearing with the answer and any supporting documentation (we’re happy to help with this).
Testimony can be submitted at the hearing or emailed to the committee members; either way is perfectly fine. If you bring hard copies to the hearing, please bring 17 copies — one for each member.
If you cannot make the hearing, you can still submit testimony (or have someone bring it to the hearing for you). Committees also accept testimony sent electronically up to a week after the hearing.
Who Will You Be Talking To?
The Tourism Committee members are online; check the list to see if your legislator(s) are on the Committee. If they are, that means your voice is all the more important! Be sure to let them know that you are a constituent. (If you’re not sure who your legislators are, you can look them up here; just plug in your address and note the names of your State Senator and State Representative.)
You can learn more about legislators’ positions on animal bills at www.animalscorecard.com.
Also, these are the legislators on the Committee who have co-sponsored these bills: Representative McMurtry (Chair), Representative Ayers (Vice Chair), Representative Elugardo, Representative Garballey, and Representative Vitolo.
What More Can You Do to Prepare?
Learn more about this legislation here. See the texts of the bills online: S. 2028 and H. 2934 (they are identical).
Let us know you are coming at firstname.lastname@example.org and join the Facebook event.
If you have any questions, send us an email: email@example.com.
We’ll post any new information we get here, but also keep up with us online! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.