Last week, TIFF’s Initiative expanded its area of influence when we went live in Kentucky, only a few months after beginning the process of introducing the initiative to the state legislature. Since our goal is to be active and growing in every state, this is a big win for TIFF! We’re now in seven states, with the expectation of adding Texas, Indiana and Pennsylvania soon. As people learn about TIFF, they discover that the need for it is massive and the only real way to experience change is to spread the word and take an active role in bringing awareness to this need. Will you be an ambassador for change?
That’s exactly what we consider Carol Smith Simpson, Kentucky resident who set the wheels in motion to ultimately expand TIFF into the state. Simpson heard about TIFF through word of mouth, and decided quickly that her state needed this. “Frankly,” says Simpson, “Who can you think of who doesn’t need this? Everyone needs this.” In the press release published on March 7, 2019, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin summed up the need for this system when he said, “Emergency Notice is a powerful example of how collaboration between government agencies can benefit citizens through practical, common-sense innovation,” said Gov. Bevin. “Following a serious automobile crash, this valuable tool will significantly expedite communication between first responders and a driver’s loved ones. Time is of the essence during an emergency, and we are excited to make this easy-to-use system available to all Kentuckians.” Not only do drivers need this, but anyone who is ever in a potential situation for emergency needs a way to contact loved ones if an emergency ever occurs. For example, people who live alone, people who ride the bus, people who walk or bike on busy streets, children who ride with friends, college students living away from home… the list goes on. Once you being making a list of who you know that should have an emergency contact listed on their state-issued ID, you won’t stop.
When asked how Simpson was able to move so quickly, only hearing about TIFF in January and seeing it become a reality in Kentucky by the end of March, she confided, “Well, I happen to have grown up with [State Representative] Kevin Kramer, so I called him and said this needs to happen.” This led us to think about our own strategies in terms of expanding TIFF to new states. That’s where you come in. Do you live in a state that has not yet introduced TIFF’s Initiative? Do you know someone who does? Start talking about it. Find out who your state representative is and email them.
Many times, these conversations lead to knowing-someone-who-knows-someone. In other words, you may not have a connection to anyone in your state government, but maybe you work with, live next to, or play golf with a Carol- someone who has a strong connection to a state representative and can be heard quickly. The need for available emergency contact information in the event of an emergency is so common sense that we need to help it become ridiculous to not have it in every state. There is much work to do, and it all starts with a conversation. Who will you talk to today?