I recently returned from the Congressional conference in Washington DC (the other Washington) and it was the usual bittersweet trip. You see fellow members, I am aggravated by politics, but I feel compelled to act. I can’t sit on the sidelines. I just wonder at times, as you do, whether it matters.
Make no mistake though, our efforts are effective. Visiting with our Senators and Congressmen/women, especially those who fundamentally disagree with us, makes a difference. I’ve experienced a change in the attitude and demeanor of many staff aides and at least some legislators. It’s much harder to dislike and dismiss us once we’ve met multiple times over several years. I know it seems like we’ve lost some battles, but we would be far worse off without the advocacy effort.
Our membership numbers are not where we would like them and that certainly causes angst, but the team of professionals representing us in the nation’s capital is more effective than ever. We also have representation in every congressional district across the country. Don’t fret over membership numbers. Instead celebrate the largest PAC in the insurance industry! IFAPAC is the gas in the advocacy car. IFAPAC is alive and well, and it’s protecting our livelihood. It is the answer to any objection from a member or prospective member who questions the viability of our association or wonders what’s in it for them.
I definitely believe we are on the right track with the PAC & initiatives like One Washington. One Washington will streamline and centralize our functions, smooth out the member experience, and emphasize our most important function; advocacy. I may grouse about the other Washington, but I will resist the urge to give in as long as it matters.