Many of the gains made by optometry in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have been through diligent legislative efforts.
The purpose of the Keyperson Program is to create and maintain effective communication between individual legislators of both the House and Senate (state and national) and their respective optometrist constituents. It does this by good organization. It begins when the POA president appoints a statewide Keyperson and each local society president appoints a local society keyperson chairperson. The chairperson's function is to match the legislator in the society area with an optometrist from the legislator's districts.
This individual optometrist has the responsibility of developing a personal rapport with the legislator and keeping the legislator informed of optometry's position on various legislative matters. Since cooperation with the legislators is of utmost importance, it is the individual keyperson who must develop rapport with the legislator and provide help when needed. The individual keyperson must also report the legislator's positions back to the society and state Keyperson.
This structure has to be revised with each election of new legislators. The Keyperson program provides POA with a vehicle whereby organized optometry can have immediate, personal, grass roots contact with legislators on matters of concern to the profession.
A Legislative Directory is available from the POA office by request. This Directory lists all legislators from Pennsylvania to both the state and national governments, and committee assignments for the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
If you do not know who your state Representative or Senator is, go to http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/session.cfm; and type in your address, or visit AOA’s Legislative Action Center.
If you know your local legislators, or any state officials, please complete a Legislative Contact Sheet. If you would prefer to fill out the form by hand and then email or fax it to the POA office, please click here. This information will help us build our keyperson database.
As always, if you talk with a legislator or their staff, please report your encounter to POA using the Legislative Encounter Report. If you would prefer to fill out the form by hand and then email or fax it to the POA office, please click here.
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As an POA/AOA member, you'll be supporting advocacy efforts that help advance and protect the profession.