More than 350 association professionals are meeting virtually today and tomorrow for ASAE’s annual legislative fly-in, called American Associations Day 2021.
This is the second consecutive year ASAE has held the fly-in virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic but participants are using the event to showcase for policymakers why associations are an important part of the policymaking process and to prepare for virtual meetings with congressional offices to discuss specific issues of importance to the association community. One bill ASAE and other associations are supporting is the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act, just reintroduced this week by Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Fred Upton (R-MI). (See next article in this week’s Inroads)
ASAE President and CEO Susan Robertson, CAE, kicked off today’s program by reminding association advocates how they can positively impact policy discussions on Capitol Hill. Last year, ASAE and its grassroots supporters successfully swayed Congress to expand the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to include deserving 501(c)(6) organizations financially impacted by the pandemic.
“That’s why American Associations Day is so meaningful,” Robertson said. “You have the opportunity over the next couple of days to leave an impression on the offices you visit – to create a better understanding of who we are as a community and how we can help in the development of informed public policy.”
This year’s American Associations Day is packed with educational content to help prepare association advocates effectively advocate for the community. This afternoon, fly-in participants participated in a virtual congressional town hall with Sens. Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), who championed PPP expansion for associations last year. Tomorrow, participants will participate in another town hall with Reps. Chris Pappas (D-NH) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). All four lawmakers are recipients of ASAE’s 2021 Sentinel Awards for their work on PPP expansion last year.