Traditional lobby activities needed a boost and issue coalitions were seeking partners to enhance their positions on issues with Members of Congress, the Senate, the White House and regulatory offices such as the EPA.
Incorporated company and sought out contracts with corporations, associations and corporate coalitions to bring non-traditional allies to the table to assist in the efforts of my clients to meet their public policy goals. Worked with allies to educate their members and constituents on the issue of importance to my client, pointing out where they would have a vested interest in taking a position on the issue and in so doing elevating their profile. Most of the education process was through presentations at annual conferences where anywhere from 30 to over 100 people would attend the requisite session that was focused solely on the policy issue at hand. Always had informational materials for dissemination, and engaged in personal discussions with leaders of these advocacy groups such as the organizations president, its board members and most certainly, the chair of the environment and energy sub-committee.
Mobilization efforts have included letter-writing campaigns to the Congress, Senate and White House, petition drives undertaken at annual conference location, having an elected official testify at public hearings and/or before Congress, participate in media events, elected officials or business leaders writing and submitting letters to the editor, and other publications with key news outlets. Took advantage of a request from a local business magazine to contribute to their “Political Corner” with an article arguing for the elimination of the tax on dividends in 2003.
“Client’s Interests Advocated with Legislators”
Long-term client seeks continuing engagement with state minority elected legislators to advance interests with regard to electricity policy and to ensure elected legislators will continually consider support for client’s federal policy position. Client’s membership consists of many coal-fired power plants which are a target of many Congressional members and the EPA for its carbon dioxide emissions when burned as a fuel source for electricity production.
The state legislators group has a caucus that the majority of minority state elected legislators belongs to. As part of this caucus, the corporate community has a roundtable as a means to promote their respective interests with the legislators. Accepted the position as Chairwoman of the Energy, Environment and Transportation committee for four years and Vice-Chairwoman of this committee for another four years.
Was able to advocate clients’ interests with the legislators and with other corporate members through direct interaction with caucus staff, president of the caucus, participation at annual conference and bi-annual corporate roundtable meetings. Results include the organizations support for Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance legislation, national energy policy, and alternative fuel infrastructure development.
“Comprehensive Superfund Reauthorization Reform Sought”
Superfund reauthorization was of keen concern to corporate entities with compliance and financial obligations to the Superfund. Due to the nature of Superfund, a broad cross-section of the corporate community has an interest in EPA’s reauthorization process especially as it affects cleanup regulations and costs. Superfund has been one of the most contentious of environmental issues for the corporate community and one of the most volatile for the minority community as Environmental Justice is a prominent issue. Objective was to focus solely on the areas of commonality and the potential economic impacts on a community.
As a contractor to a Superfund coalition representing many fortune 500 manufacturing, oil and chemical companies, reached out to the minority allied groups that I had developed relationships with to educate them on Superfund, the difference between Superfund remediation and brownfields, and what is required under either situation and the financial obligations by the corporate community to the Superfund and possible consequences stemming from a hasty implementation of a poorly reauthorized statute. As with other client base, mobilization efforts concentrated on minority local elected officials and business organizations.
Grassroots focus was necessarily the National Conference of Black Mayors and the Black Chamber of Commerce as the mayors represented the communities of many existing sites and the chamber of commerce’ interests were in business development and growth opportunities. Successful in delivering public statements, declarations, and letters of support for coalition’s position to the EPA and Congress. Successful in getting on the record statements calling for careful consideration on developing Superfund reauthorization legislation, and until favorable regulation was achieved, bar the EPA from reinstituting financial contributions from the corporate community to the Superfund.