Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Growing IAAPA's Grassroots Program

Businessmen and women cannot afford to be political spectators. IAAPA’s government relations department serves as your eyes, ears, and voice in Washington, D.C. so you can concentrate on running your businesses. IAAPA monitors U.S. federal legislation, meets with federal lawmakers, and briefs IAAPA members on federal policy that could affect the amusement park and attractions industry.

Sometimes in politics, issues are identified weeks or months before they come before Congress. In these situations, IAAPA’s government relations department has time to make appointments for lobbying visits with members of Congress, or add the issue to a list of things members should discuss during legislative fly-ins.

Oftentimes in Washington, though, issues blow up overnight. When this happens, IAAPA’s lobbying strategy needs to be more rapid than traditional efforts, and we need members to quickly reach out to elected officials and let them know how proposed solutions will affect you.

Earlier this month, the Senate Finance Committee considered imposing FICA taxes on several temporary visa programs as revenue generators for the farm bill. This proposal would have affected many IAAPA members who rely on temporary workers to staff their businesses during the peak season.

IAAPA’s government relations department heard about this proposal on a Monday evening. On Tuesday we developed and launched a targeted grassroots campaign of IAAPA members in key states contacting senators on the committee and explaining the detrimental effects of this proposal to the attractions industry. By Wednesday evening, the proposal was defeated.

Everything that IAAPA lobbyists say sounds better coming from a constituent. You are the voter, the person who on Election Day determines if a member of Congress stays or goes.

We encourage you to join our Grassroots Action and Information Network (GAIN) and be among the first to know about federal legislation critical to your business. GAIN members receive insider legislative updates from IAAPA’s GR staff, and are provided with the materials to take action when needed. You can register for GAIN by visiting our web site or contacting me directly at sthienel@iaapa.org.

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