Nearly 70 industry professionals joined together for two days in April to meet with legislators on Capitol Hill, bringing key ad specialty issues before U.S. senators and members of the House of Representatives.
The L.E.A.D. (Legislative Education and Action Day) event, coordinated by PPAI on April 9 and 10, included more than 200 meetings with Congressional representatives and their staffs, as well as a special breakfast honoring the association’s 2014 legislator of the year, Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC).
“PPAI L.E.A.D. is an important part of our turn-key program of legislative advocacy,” said Anne Lardner-Stone, PPAI’s director of public affairs. “L.E.A.D. gives industry leaders the opportunity to engage with lawmakers from their districts to build relationships, share their stories and speak directly on issues important to them.”
Besides two days of scheduled meetings with members of Congress, the L.E.A.D. event gave everyone in the ad specialty industry a chance to take part in a “Virtual Fly-In” by e-mailing lawmakers. The goal was to create dialogue and educate legislators on the impact of specific Congressional proposals, like those that would change the tax filing status of independent contractors and reduce the ad tax deduction. L.E.A.D. also continued to serve as a platform to promote the ad specialty industry, as members explained to lawmakers how beneficial promotional products can be as marketing tools.
“In addition to informing our Congress about issues important to our industry, it has become apparent that the annual trip to our capital is paying dividends as the Congressional members and their staffs remember us from last year,” said Chuck Machion, ASI’s senior vice president and senior counsel, who along with Jim Socci of Artistic Toys (asi/37122) visited Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) on April 9. “Clearly, such efforts are having a positive impact for our industry.”