Though we don't know the details yet about who exactly has declined the SOLAS exemption for the Delta Queen and why this is, let's drag the issue to the public!
We all know what's possible in politics when people are piling up pressure. Let's activate the media, prominent supporters, PR experts. Let's get Larry King to talk about the Delta Queen. Let's make us Jimmy Carter remember his DQ cruise in a Washington Post interview. Let's show the politicians that there is a whole nation to support the DQ!
This is not only about the DELTA QUEEN, a historic landmark, one of the few remaining original steamboats in this country. It's not only about an important part of American history. Let's not forget abouth the fact that these "romantic" aspects are only a small part of the whole story! It's also about the people working for the DQ. And it's about a law that doesn't respect reality - an exemption from this law shouldn't even be worth more than 10 seconds of discussion. Senators and representatives are at much greater risk going to and from their meetings each day. We assume far greater risks in our daily lives than are present on the boat. For the whole campaign coming, let's not forget about these basics.
What to do now?
Let's all do what ever each one can do and let's not think too much about organizing a big, centrally organized campaign for now. This is something we still can consider when the campaign gains significant momentum.
Here is a first steps action plan for all of us:
- Activate your local newspapers personally.
Please send me e-mail and postal addresses of your local newspapers and TV stations; I'll be building up a contacts list for future press releases.
- Find prominent supporters
- this is probably the most important part of the campaign! Who ever has had any connections with the DQ in the past (e.g. like Jimmy Carter), please try to find out how to reach them. Contact them, let them know we need their help, not financially, but with public statements, contacting their contacts in Washington and in the industry
Again, send those information to me, too, so I can build up a list of potential supporters for future action.
- Find PR experts who are willing to support us
(giving advice, doing some phone calls to important people, sending out press releases to their audience, etc.), find marketing specialists to help, find people who have good contacts to the press, to VIPs, to politicians, etc.
- Of course, spread the word
to everyone you know and also ask them to sign the online petition at steamboats.org
- All past and present masters, captains, pilots, chief engineers, hotel managers, etc. of the DELTA QUEEN
- please send me your comments plus a picture of yourself, data when you've server on the DQ, your position, etc. I'll put together some kind of a "DQ hall of fame" page to show how much professional know-how is behind our request for issuing an exemption to the Delta Queen.
There will be a website www.save-the-delta-queen.org
and .com very soon (registered already, but takes a few hours to days until activated).
- There will be t-shirts and buttons (I'm working on a professional-looking design; it must look great on CNN and Fox News!)
- And of course, your ideas add to this, too.
Let's SAVE THE DELTA QUEEN, again!