FLA members are voting constituents who are impacted first hand by the legislation being crafted, debated, and voted on in Congress. A central element to increasing FLA’s effectiveness and member engagement is the newly developed Scorecard for the 112th Congress. View the FLA Scorecard online at www.forestlandowners.com. The Scorecard is effective in allowing FLA to:
- Inform FLA members of the overall agreement percentage of their elected representatives,
- Inform Members of Congress if they are doing a good job representing their private forest landowner constituents,
- Be better stewards of PAC donations in ensuring elected officials are supporting key issues as well as in determining committee assignments and ranks of members of congress; and
- Enhance communications by FLA members to their elected officials (phone, email and office visits during fly-ins).
The Scorecard allows us to continue to strengthen FLA’s effectiveness and reputation as a go-to source on private forest landowner issues in Washington by monitoring, anticipating, prioritizing, educating, and affecting change through analysis of:
- Co-sponsorship of key legislation
- Votes on key legislation
- Committee assignment and rank
- FLA members and/or advocates in congressional districts
- Response to Call To Action
- Percentage of support of key bills of importance to FLA that were introduced in the 112th Congress
- Forest Products Fairness Act (H.R. 5873/S. 2346)
- 4 Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act (H.R. 1259/S.
- 4 Silviculture Consistency Act (H.R. 2541/S. 1369)
- 4 EPA Regulatory Relief Act/Boiler MACT
- (H.R.2250/S. 1392)
- 4 Reducing Regulatory Burdens (H.R. 872/NA)
- 4 Private Property Protection Rights Act (H.R.
- Committee rank (seniority) for primary committees with jurisdiction germane to FLA issues
- Number of FLA advocates in members district/state
Fall Meeting Guest Speakers
Politics of the Politics, Elections and the Lame Duck Congress
Pat Raffaniello, political insider and tax lobbyist expert discussed the politics of the 112th Congress, the “fiscal cliff,” and issues Congress will face when they return for the Lame Duck Session as well as the new Congress in January 2013, with a specific focus on tax issues.
Pat Raffaniello has a proven track record of working on a bipartisan basis with the Senate and House Leadership, the Senate Committee on Finance, and the House Committee on Ways & Means. He has earned a reputation of impeccable integrity by providing Members of Congress and their staff with timely, accurate, and useful information.
Advocacy – The New Winning Strategy
Rachna Choudhry, discussed how FLA’s grassroots advocacy influence is increasing in the political process. Rachna’s background is in federal lobbying, issue advocacy, and social media strategy for a variety of national advocacy organizations.
Insights, statistics, and results were discussed regarding how policy makers no longer need to rely solely on information being spoon-fed to them from “inside the beltway bandits.” FLA is positioned to benefit from new technology and social media advancements that allow policy makers to interact with their constituents in ways that were impossible 10 years ago.
Making Your Message “Snackable” and Shareable
Jason Siegel, Founding Partner of Bluetext, examined how breakthrough marketing technologies and digital media strategies can affect outcome and influence in politics and public relations. He led a discussion on how the integration of the message with the underlying connections can help the forestry community reach their key audiences through media, digital, and every available channel. His take away was for the forestry community to better utilize those whose lives and businesses depend on the forests by humanizing their stories and empowering advocates with tools and content so they can spread the word.