We’re highly appreciative of all the comments on this campaign and the responses to John’s post. We’ll continue to listen to what you have to say. We do realize that associations already employ lobbyists to articulate their members’ concerns on Capitol Hill. Associations are very effective advocates for the industries and professions they represent. Unfortunately, there’s a tendency in Washington to pigeonhole associations as merely “special interests” on one side of an issue. Bear in mind that for some congressional staffers, their only experience or interaction with an association is when they come through the office door to lobby an issue.
The goal of The Power of A is to demonstrate that advocacy is an important function of many associations, but associations do so much more. It’s critically important that policymakers not view associations as disparate entities, consumed with their own narrow policy interests. One outcome we hope to see from this campaign is that associations are viewed more consistently as part of a huge, collective sector that exercises its First Amendment rights, certainly, but also does so much good in the communities in which we live and operate.
We really encourage people to visit the www.thepowerofa.org site and not only read through some of the success stories of this community, but also get involved in this conversation, as John said in his post, by accessing the “Get Involved” area of the campaign website.
Jim Clarke, CAE
Senior Vice President, Public Policy