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Save The Date and Participate in ESA’s Day on Capitol Hill

Posted By Bob Ogle, Thursday, February 06, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, February 19, 2014

By Bob Ogle

It’s a golden opportunity whenever ESA members can get together in a beautiful city to network and socialize with colleagues from around the country, and learn more about the issues that face their businesses as well as our entire industry. And it’s a bonus when they get a chance to make their views known to their elected representatives.

That’s what ESA’s Day on Capitol Hill is all about. This year, the event will take place on Monday and Tuesday, April 28 and 29, in Washington, D.C. Headquarters will be the elegant and historic Omni Shoreham hotel. It’s a true Washington landmark – having played host to world leaders, inaugural balls and other political events – in a beautiful setting overlooking Rock Creek National Park.

Registration is open on ESA’s website at www.ESAweb.org/DOCH2014. Registration is free for members until April 11, with a fee of $100 for non-members and members who register after April 11.

Day on Capitol Hill represents the best opportunity for our members to be heard directly by elected officials on issues that are important to our industry. Our members put a real-life face on the issues, and make it clear to Congress that the electronic life safety industry plays a crucial role in the security of our citizens.

Strength in numbers

The event’s success depends on participation from as many members as possible. When large numbers of members turn out, it reminds our elected officials that ESA represents a large number of companies who employ an even larger group of people. ESA is the only association representing our industry – no one else is out there to carry your message to your legislators.

Participants receive an updated congressional directory for all 535 members of Congress with contact information on their elected officials, not only for D.C., but for their local offices as well.

Meetings with congressional offices are already set up before delegates arrive, either with officials who are local to their respective regions or crucial to legislation the association is trying to move through Congress.

Talking points and issue briefs to assist with the visits are available beforehand so delegates can become familiar with issues. To participate, all delegates need to do is show up and wear comfortable walking shoes.

The bigger picture

But there’s a greater benefit than just communicating with elected officials. It’s also learning more about the issues that affect the industry, and understanding the impact that laws and regulations can have on our members’ businesses.

"The electronic security industry is a known industry to most members of Congress,” said ESA Government Relations Director John Chwat. "The face-to-face meetings during Day on Capitol Hill are an unparalleled chance to educate and inform lawmakers. But ESA members also return home with a better understanding of ESA’s advocacy efforts and the political process as a whole. They also become a resource to other members with their knowledge of issues facing the association.”

More than 73 delegates from 21 states participated in last year’s event, visiting 96 House offices and 33 Senate offices. ESA member Lynn Comer, chair of the Government Relations committee, said she’s confident those numbers will continue to grow this year.

"I know this is a huge sacrifice that takes our members away from their businesses,” she said, "but it’s also an investment. It’s one I hold very dearly myself, because it’s not only about representing our industry and our association. For me personally, I feel very connected to our government when I’m here. I think that’s a really important piece that everyone who attends can take home with them.”

More information is available at www.ESAweb.org/DOCH2014, or by contacting ESA Events Manager Melissa Unger at (972) 807-6807.

Tags:  Day on Capitol Hill  government relations 

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