New York MMA Letter Writing Campaign Begins
On January 5 the 2011 legislative session begins in New York and with it a renewed battle for the sanctioning of mixed martial arts in the Empire State. One of the biggest changes in the field for the new year will not be happening in Albany, but inside the New York MMA community as December marks the beginning of a massive letter-writing campaign in support of MMA.
In past years, the primary efforts to push MMA sanctioning in New York have come from lobbyists employed by the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Madison Square Garden Sports, who have obvious financial interests in seeing the combat sport come to its largest untapped market. In spite of these efforts, lobbyists were unable to win over the majority caucus in the State Assembly last year and MMA was ultimately defeated.
No Holds Barred Radio host Eddie Goldman, along with other members of the combat sports community in New York, have attributed past setbacks to a lack of grass-roots backing for the lobbying efforts. Goldman's multiple on-air calls for New Yorkers not to be content to "let Las Vegas billionaires" handle the work most recently reached American SAMBO Association president Steve Koepfer.
"I've been listening to [Cage Radio] and No Holds Barred and I decided we needed to do something," said Koepfer. "It is time to admit that pettitions don't work, lobby dollars only go so far, and that the only way our elected officials will act is if we tell them to act."
Koepfer is now urging all members of the New York MMA community to start writing their representative. To this end, he is now hosting several template letters for MMA fans, related business owners, coaches, and promoters to concisely express support for mixed martial arts to their government.
Each template letter is written with blank spaces for interested parties to include their individual information and send to their State Senator or Assemblyman. Links to the different templates, below:
Gym owner's letter: http://ussambo.com/mmany/gymletter.doc
Business owner's letter: http://ussambo.com/mmany/businessletter.doc
Promoter's letter: http://ussambo.com/mmany/promoterletter.doc
Fan's Letter: http://ussambo.com/mmany/fanletter.doc
To find out who your local Senator and Assembly person is and where to mail the letters, visit the following links:
Photo via Bullshido.net