Every spring for the past 32 years, growers, florists and wholesalers have participated in the Society of American Florists’ annual Congressional Action Days (CAD). This year, March 11 and 12, SAF’s 33rd Annual CAD will bring the industry’s voice to Washington once again to tell representatives and senators what’s important to floral businesses.
Members of Congress may think they know what’s important to business owners, but they don’t know the floral industry until the industry speaks up. Research has shown that undecided lawmakers getting ready to a vote give the most weight to the views of constituents who have visited their office in Washington.
“This is an exciting time to be part of grassroots action in Washington,” says SAF Government Relations Chairman Marvin Miller. “I strongly encourage everyone to take advantage of the opportunity to really make a difference for our industry.”
As the 113th Congress gets settled in, the new session of Congress welcomes more than 70 new congressmen and women and senators to Capitol Hill. The array of important — and often contentious — questions facing both new and returning members of Congress makes participation particularly important this year.
CAD attendees will hear nationally known speakers, including NBC News Correspondent Kelly O’Donnell and Political Analyst Charlie Cook of the National Journal. Participants will also be well-briefed on the major issues they’ll be discussing on Capitol Hill: Immigration reform, the importance of the new farm bill to the industry and the continued availability of capital to Main Street businesses. Each attendee will have already prepared position papers to hand to their congressional representatives, along with detailed statistics about the importance of the industry in their own congressional districts.
“My representatives do not know what it takes to run a flower business or a farm,” says Michelle Castellano Keeler of Mellano & Company in San Luis Rey, Calif. “Unless I go and tell them, how do I expect them to represent me?”
SAF’s Congressional Action Days is a unique, and valuable experience — both for participants and for the men and women they have elected to Congress. Visit the Congressional Action Days website [SAFNow.org/congressional-action-days] to learn more. Give yourself the opportunity to be a real participant in some of the most important issues of our time.