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April 26, 2000 

Council’s GRT ‘e-advocacy’ continues
1330 persons send 24,207 letters urging repeal

The Business Council’s “electronic-advocacy” campaign to encourage repeal of the state’s gross receipts tax (GRT) on energy is continuing, with 1329 persons having sent 24,207 pro-repeal letters to lawmakers and their staff.

Ken Pokalsky, who is coordinating the effort for The Council, said much credit for the strong participation rate should go to local chambers of commerce around the state and to the Chamber Alliance of New York State (CANYS), an association of local chambers across the state, which is encouraging chambers to join the campaign.

Local chambers that have attracted the most participants to the campaign are: the Greater Syracuse Chamber (210 participants); the Plattsburgh Chamber (79); the Adirondack Regional Chamber (72); the Orange County Chamber (60); the Chemung County Chamber (48); the Tompkins County Chamber (39); the Chautauqua County Chamber (38); the Cheektowaga Chamber (37); the Chenango County Chamber (34) and the Genesee County Chamber (34).

Pokalsky also credited PinPoint Communications of Rensselaer County, which The Council has retained to provide the technological foundation of the e-advocacy campaign.

“PinPoint has helped us develop this advocacy initiative, implement it using its LobbyNet technology, and help attract local chambers to the effort,” Pokalsky said.

The e-advocacy campaign lets visitors to The Council’s website (www.bcnys.org) quickly and automatically send faxed letters urging GRT repeal to legislative leaders and users’ local lawmakers. Users can also move the letters to their own letterhead and personalize them.

The Business Council pioneered web-based e-advocacy last year when it used PinPoint Communications in a broader effort to support a diverse group of tax cuts led to more than 50,000 letters being sent to legislative leaders and key staff in Albany.