Whether we like it or not, or whether there’s a question if it’s ethical or not; engaging and informing our elected officials involves money. And with all the “reform” we’ve had over the past 15 years, the methods of influence are not as transparent as we would like to think. And if we refuse to play; our voice will NEVER be heard; thus the dilemma for many.
Printing Industries of America has always played in this arena – and per many of its members, it’s one of the most valued roles of the Association. Over the many decades of advocacy, Printing Industries of America has been very influential in either modifying or changing laws detrimental to the industry. Although the Association can only be successful if its message is heard – and that means there has to be a way to help elect/re-elect representatives in Congress who understand and are willing to listen to small business issues. And that means money.
Trade associations (and other similar organizations) are constrained in using “corporate” dollars to engage legislators. Thus, if an organization wants to help a legislator who is friendly to the industry, it requires PAC (political action committee) money. Our industry has a PAC. It’s called PrintPAC.
PrintPAC’s role is to help ensure that legislators who understand small business issues are supported – regardless of which side of the political fence they sit upon. And these funds are strictly used (and governed) for that use only. Funding for the Association’s legislative team comes from the Association’s operating budget.
Thus, nationwide a campaign has begun to help fund PrintPAC. We’re not asking for much. $50.00; $100; and if someone is generous, we’ll take $500. That’s not a lot of money when one considers the importance of having our voice heard in Washington.
If each owner or manager of a company could provide a minimum of $1.00 per employee for PrintPAC on an annual basis, the result would be legendary. Since the average size of a company is 28 employees, we’re not talking big dollars – but we need more than just a handful of companies (less than 200 individuals support PrintPAC) to support PrintPAC.
With the many issues Congress is facing – from health care issues to USPS issues, our industry will be affected; thus, it’s critically important that have a say in the legislation, not just hope things will go our way. It’s important to remember the old adage – if you’re not at the dinner table, you become dinner.