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PIA District Lobbying Day…Capitol Hill in Your Backyard

As PIA National President Ray Peretti reminds us in his monthly column, PIA's efforts on Capitol Hill must always be augmented by follow-up "back home"...
July 11, 2006

As PIA National President Ray Peretti reminds us in his monthly column, PIA's efforts on Capitol Hill must always be augmented by follow-up "back home" if we are to have maximum impact on federal lawmakers. While national legislation may be forged in the halls of Congress, the ideas that are brought to Capitol Hill - and that resonate the most with our lawmakers - come straight from constituents on their local Main Streets.

If you follow the Congressional schedule, as many here in the Washington area do, you know that your federal lawmakers leave Capitol Hill at the beginning of August and head to their district offices for the remainder of the summer.

That's why this August PIA is asking each PIA member to make an effort to engage their elected officials and Congressional candidates, to promote the points of view of Professional Insurance Agents and to forge relationships with those who will serve them in Washington, DC.

To highlight this effort and encourage a critical mass of involvement from members like you, we have designated August 9 as PIA District Lobbying Day and the entire month of August as Political Involvement and Advocacy Month.

District Lobbying Day: August 9

District Lobbying Day will be the focal point of PIA members' visits to their Members of Congress in their district offices. The goal is to get as many PIA members as possible to schedule appointments on or around August 9 to have a conversation with their elected officials or staff members in their offices. This is your chance to talk about a few issues that concern you as an independent agent and small businessperson. If you're further inclined to get involved in their reelection campaign, this is a great time to let the candidate know that you are a supporter and want to help.

If the prospect of walking into your Congressman or Senator's office and discussing issues of federal legislation seems daunting, don't be worried. PIA will provide you with support through the District Lobbying Day page here on PIA National's website. There you'll learn how to go about setting up an appointment and what to say once you're there. We'll provide you with talking points and tips for making the most of your visit, plus thank you notes and a press release so you can let your community know that you are not just a Main Street agent, but an involved citizen.

For those who are unable to schedule an in-person visit, PIA National's Online Grassroots Action Center will be pre-loaded with a message you can send to your elected officials showing your support for issues of paramount concern to professional independent insurance agents.

PIA Month

Political Involvement and Advocacy Month serves as an opportunity for each PIA member to become more active in the politics that shape their lives, and to continue that involvement into the mid-term elections and beyond. PIA Month will consist of a series of suggested activities you can engage in locally, to support and form relationships with your elected officials and federal candidates. PIA National will be providing PIA members with a series of suggestions in a calendar format, but what you choose to do and when you choose to do them is completely up to you and the schedules of your Congressman, Senators and candidates.

Whether you do something simple like put a bumper sticker on your car or a sign in your yard, or volunteer to work in a phone bank or host a reception in your home, the important thing is just to get involved. The more PIA members get to know and speak with their elected officials, and become part of the political process, the better agents will fare in legislation that could have dramatic consequences on their businesses and their lives. 2006 being a mid-term election year - and one that is shaping up to be heated across the nation - makes this a better year than most to get involved, make a difference and raise your profile.

Start Now

To take the first step, visit the District Lobbying Day page here on PIA National's website.

Have a question? Contact Kellie Bray, PIA National's assistant vice president of federal affairs, at or (703) 518-1364.