I just returned from Print’s Voice, which is our industry’s legislative “Fly-in” meeting in Washington D.C. There were dozens of representatives from all over the United States, which included printing company owners, executives from the industry’s major manufacturers and suppliers, as well as association executives and other industry advocates.
These meetings which include discussions with legislators, as well as policy makers, always reinforces my beliefs in our political system. I am beginning to truly understand our unique system of governance and more and more amazed of how our Founding Father’s created a system of checks and balances that has lasted for over 200 years.
Yes, today’s political landscape has many of us shaking our heads in disbelief or frustration. If it’s not scandals, it’s the Democratic or Republican Party finding ways to discredit each other while nothing of substance occurs to help the American people.
Yet, over the years as I have become more involved with industry advocacy, I realize that our frustration with the system, and its imperfection, should not dissuade us from engaging. We can not afford to just get our information from the talking heads on television — as Representative Joe Donnelly (IN-D.) reminded us in a briefing. The folks you see on the tube are the most vocal, but don’t always represent the majority. They make good theater and provide good rating numbers.
Because we have such diverse thoughts at this time about the role of government, we need to make sure that our industry is not adversely affected. So, read and explore the issues from various sources. Learn about BOTH sides and then let your representatives know about your concerns. Invite them to your plant. Let them hear your voice.
And here comes the sales pitch.
Get involved with your Association’s efforts. Over the years, there have been a handful of printing company owners and executives who have been actively involved in ensuring that we did not see laws that were adverse to the industry. Some of those individuals are familiar to our membership — DeLana, Williamson, and Padgett. There are many others whose name may not be familiar, but have supported industry efforts through PrintPAC, or through their willingness to reach out to their Congressional Representatives. But we’re talking less than 200 individuals in an industry made up of 30,000 companies and employs over 700,000.
So, don’t sit on the sidelines. More than ever, we need your voice and participation. When our legislative team asks for your help, make the call or email. Reach out to your local representative and make sure they know the role print plays in their district. You can sing a solo, but remember a choir’s tapestry of harmony makes its song much more memorable. If you need help, or ideas of how to do it , we can help, and let your voice become part of our choir.