When you see a post or email about registering for ABMA Advocacy Day in March, you might ask yourself: “Why should I attend? What value can I add, and what can I gain out of attending?” When attending Advocacy Day, you not only help your Alliance and industry bring attention to important issues, but you can gain connections with other ABMA members and industry professionals.
Making an Impact
People often think that legislators won’t pay attention to or care about their issues. However, advocates bring attention to issues politicians might not have considered otherwise. Just like you don’t know about a great new restaurant in a town you don’t frequent, members of Congress don’t know about issues facing an industry they are unfamiliar with unless they are told about those issues.
Many times in our meetings, we hear from legislators that they did not know something was an issue for our industry or were not aware of the issue legislation will solve, likely because they do not have great familiarity with the LBM industry. Advocacy Day is the perfect opportunity for you, the constituent, to educate your members of Congress about the issues we face and help them understand how it impacts employers and employees in their district. When something is an issue for constituents, a legislator is more likely to listen and take further action because it impacts those they represent and who vote in elections. By attending Advocacy Day, you are helping increase the number of legislators who know about and will support ABMA issues.
In addition to helping expand the number of legislators who want to work with and support ABMA and our industry, attending Advocacy Day can also help you grow your own network. There are many opportunities for networking and socializing during Advocacy Day.
First, we have a cocktail hour and dinner on Wednesday night. This is an informal opportunity to get to know your fellow ABMA members and advocates while enjoying some delicious food. There is also the opportunity on Thursday to have lunch between meetings and dinner with fellow ABMA advocates. Our Day on the Hill is tentatively ending with a night tour of the U.S. Capitol, which is another opportunity to mingle and talk with others in attendance.
What It Comes Down To
At the end of the day, Advocacy Day is about expanding networks and educating members of Congress about the issues you and your business face every day. It is an opportunity to help federal legislators understand how they can help businesses in their state and district all while expanding your personal connections.
I strongly urge you to register for Advocacy Day, which you can do right on our ABMA website. We have a room block at the Hyatt Washington D.C./White House for $279/night, which includes breakfast. You can book right on their website using this link.