Among the key issues at this year’s SAF Congressional Action Days are healthcare law and immigration reform. The event, being held March 10-11 in Washington D.C., will bring together horticulture industry members to lobby members of Congress to revisit legislation that is important to the industry.
Now that Congress has passed the Farm Bill, two main areas of focus for Congressional Action Days will be:
- Immigration reform that provides a legal workforce that provides the employee numbers the horticulture industry needs
- The Affordable Care Act, to tweak a number of issues to better define full-time employees and to address seasonal employment
Congressional Action Days includes issues and advocacy training from professional lobbyist trainer Stephanie Vance of Advocacy Associates and SAF lobbyists Lin Schmale and Corey Connors. They will help attendees translate industry concerns into unique personal messages legislators will understand.
“Unfortunately, the issues we address are complicated and it often takes repeated messaging to convince our legislators that their actions or inactions are impacting livelihoods,” says Ball Horticultural’s Marvin Miller, market research manager and past chair of SAF’s Government Relations Committee and member of AmericanHort’s Industry Advocacy and Public Policy Committee.
“Though I personally feel I have swayed my legislators to ‘see the light’ on numerous occasions, it take a mass conversion to achieve majority consensus on any piece of legislation,” he says. “We all need to change minds!”
Click here to see the SAF Congressional Action Days 2014 brochure or click here to register online for Congressional Action Days 2014.