Be ready to catch the perfect wave

1.5 CE credits


Dale J. Atkinson, ASWB Legal Counsel

David Benton; Chief Executive Officer, National Council of State Boards of Nursing

Fred Phelps, Executive Director, CASW

Dan Rutz, global public health educator and advocate


Jennifer Henkel, ASWB Senior Director of Member Services and Strategic Initiatives


Many jurisdictions engage in unproductive regulatory debates. Regulators may be asked to supply meaningful information at a moment’s notice, so they must know their story and be ready to tell it when it counts. This session will provide practical skills to develop an effective elevator pitch. Participants will watch videos of testimony and campaigns about occupational licensing and then practice delivering rebuttals.

Learning Objectives

After completing this session, participants should be able to:

  1. Develop an elevator pitch or testimony on a specific regulatory issue.
  2. Develop an understanding of different perspectives related to regulation in order to prepare targeted messages addressing a variety of arguments.
  3. Craft a message using the most effective content.


Video Links that will be shown during the session:

Title: 6 Elevator Pitches for the 21st Century. Length:  4:45 – Daniel Pink, author of To Sell is Human

Title:  Robert McNamara Testimony before the House’s Higher Education and Workforce Development. Length:  5:17 (by Institute of Justice)

Title:  Stop! You need a license to do that job! Length:  4:23 (John Stossel)

Title:  Licensed to work – Why do so many need the government’s permission to work? Length:  5:12

Additional Resources

Headlines – from:

  1. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis plans all-day 'Deregathon' in Orlando

Orlando Sentinel – January 24, 2019

DeSantis will meet with members of Florida’s 23 professional licensing boards at Valencia College in Orlando on Jan. 31 along with Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez and business secretary Halsey Beshears for the first “Florida Deregathon,” in which the boards will try to find regulations they can immediately eliminate.

  1. Wisconsin agency looks at eliminating professional licensing requirements

14 December 2018 - One News Page United States

Video of a news broadcast – 1:52”


    1. If unregulated practice could harm the public
    2. If the cost behind the license presents barriers

Results to be presented to next year’s legislative assembly.

  1. My Turn: Dariely Rodriguez: R.I. licensing punishes ex-convicts

18 January 2019 - The Providence Journal

Licensing boards in Rhode Island are responsible for ensuring that workers in a particular field are qualified and adhere to job-related requirements — that’s it. Instead, by implementing onerous conviction-based restrictions that are not job-related, licensing boards are using their discretion to deny employment opportunities to qualified people with records who are willing and ready to work, making it harder for employers to fill jobs and for communities that are disproportionately low-income and of color to prosper.

  1. Federal judge finds state law governing who is an ‘engineer’ violates free speech

December 29, 2018 - The Oregonian/OregonLive

A federal magistrate judge has declared that certain parts of state law and its administrative rules that govern engineering practices in Oregon violate the First Amendment.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Stacie F. Beckerman made the ruling Friday in a case filed by a Beaverton man, Mats Järlström , against the Oregon Board of Examiners for Engineering and Land Surveying.

Beckerman, in the 25-page written ruling, declared that Järlström may study and, communicate publicly or privately about his theories relating to traffic lights, as long as his remarks occur outside the context of any employment or contractual relationship with a governmental or other group that regulates traffic light-timing....

Beckerman ruled that the state’s definition of an “engineer’’ is overbroad, and cited the state board’s “history of overzealous enforcement actions.’’

She directed the state to remove the definition of "engineer,'' from its state law and administrative rules, and simply restrict who can consider themselves a “professional engineer,” or a “registered professional engineer.”

The state’s limits that bar anyone who is not registered as a professional engineer in Oregon from describing themselves as an engineer violate the First Amendment, the judge ruled.

“First, the statutes prohibit truthfully describing oneself as an ‘engineer,’ in any context,’’ the judge wrote. “This restriction clearly controls and suppresses protected speech, and enforcement of the statute against protected speech is not a hypothetical threat. The record before this Court demonstrates that the Board has repeatedly targeted individuals for using the title ‘engineer’ in non-commercial contexts, including core political speech such as campaigning for public office and advocacy against a local ballot initiative.’’