The Society of American Florists’ (SAF) Congressional Action Days is coming up shortly. Held in the nation’s capital, this year’s two-day event takes place March 14-15, 2016, and is a chance for the floriculture industry to meet with lawmakers and push for action to preserve the industry’s workforce and help comply with the Affordable Care Act.
The event starts with issues and advocacy training. SAF lobbyists explain key issue talking points, and attendees also get a hands-on lesson in effective Hill communications from professional lobbyist trainer Stephanie Vance.
Things kick into high gear on Tuesday, March 15, with the congressional appointments. Wearing a flower in honor of the industry, you’ll have a chance to visit congressional offices as part of your state or regional delegation. If you’re new to lobbying, SAF will match you up with a veteran attendee or SAF staff member who’ll be with you every step of the way on Capitol Hill. As you talk about what’s important to your business, you’ll also expand awareness of the floriculture industry, build support for our most critical issues, and strengthen a foundation for future generations.
“Talking to lawmakers isn’t just a right, it’s a responsibility,” says Martin Meskers of Oregon Flowers and President of SAF. “It’s what we have to do on behalf of those who depend upon our business — family, employees, partners, and customers.”
SAF’s Congressional Action Days is open to all of its members, to represent issues that are critical to the future of floriculture.
“It’s important for industry members on all levels of the floriculture supply chain, including breeders, product manufactures, brokers, wholesale growers, garden center retailers, and florists, to attend events like Congressional Action Days,” says Laura Drotleff, Editor of Greenhouse Grower magazine, who attended the event in 2015. “We can’t expect to make lasting change if we don’t all get involved, work together, and tell our lawmakers what is important to our industry and why. They’re there to help us, but we have to communicate with them so they can.”