This March, NPMA members will climb Capitol Hill in Washington DC—and this isn’t just a field trip. What’s the occasion? It’s called Legislative Day, and it’s one of the most important events of the year for the National Pest Management Association. This is when pest management professionals have the golden opportunity to meet with their members of Congress to discuss critical issues that affect the industry.
“We’ll be going up on Capitol Hill, all 400 of us,” explains Andrew Bray, NPMA vice president of public policy. “We’re going to have face-to-face meetings on the House side and on the Senate side with actual representatives and senators to talk about these issues.”
NPMA members will primarily be talking about legislation and regulations that could affect the pest management industry. “Any changes to existing legislative and regulations have the possibility to significantly impact your pest management business,” Bray remarks. “That’s the bottom line. As advocates for the pest management industry, we track anything and everything that we think could have an impact, good or bad, on our industry.”
Bray adds that it’s crucial for NPMA members across the nation to get involved with this legislative process. “There’s only so much the NPMA public policy team can do as advocates, because grassroots efforts—members actually talking with their members of Congress—is by far the most effective advocacy,” he says. “That’s why Legislative Day is so important.”
Any number of regulations, proposals, bills and rules could ultimately have a major impact on every pest management business in the U.S. That’s exactly why it’s important for pest management professionals not only to stay in the know—but also to join the effort. Fortunately, there are numerous ways pest management professionals can get involved. “We encourage everyone to sign up for our Friday public policy email,” Bray suggests. “We also have a voter voice grassroots tool, where we send out alerts for our members to send out things to their representatives. It’s very easy because we write a form letter and they just have to type their name in it and hit send.”
However, the most effective way to bring about change is to put in some face-time with your state representatives and develop relationships with them. “That’s what we’re doing on Legislative Day,” Bray says. “When relationships are built on Capitol Hill, it’s even more effective when our members leave Washington DC after having these great conversations, go back home and talk to their representatives in district offices,” he adds. “It’s important to continue the conversation on that side while our public policy team pushes things up here on Capitol Hill. That’s how we bring everything together full circle.”
More about NPMA Public Policy
The National Pest Management Association is the most credible and tireless advocate for the pest management industry in Congress, before federal agencies, the administration and in the courts. We also work with our state partners to ensure the industry’s voice and representation is as clear in state capitals throughout the country as it is in Washington, DC. Not only do our public policy efforts support the future of our members’ businesses—we also provide help to individual members who want to understand more about how public policy changes will impact their business.
NPMA’s advocacy staff monitors significant legislation and regulations that either promise to improve or threaten to damage the business environment for pest professionals. In addition, NPMA maintains a Political Action Committee and a network of grassroots activists to give members an opportunity to make their voices heard at all levels of government. All of these programs are vital elements of a successful advocacy effort. They are enabled by members and for the benefit of members.
Every day the U.S. Congress is bombarded with requests to support or oppose legislation. Individuals, organizations and entire industries all are fighting for or against laws that impact their business or personal lives. In this environment, the interests of the pest management industry can easily get lost in the shuffle or overlooked.
We cannot afford to let this happen. We must ensure that lawmakers know us, hear us and respond to us. That takes a strong association and direct member involvement on Capitol Hill.
For more information, visit legislativeday.npmapestworld.org.