NPMA Legislative Day: Help make a difference

By |  March 9, 2017
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Graphic: NPMA

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) will hold Legislative Day March 12-14 in Washington. The annual event gives pest management professionals (PMPs) an opportunity to meet with legislators on Capitol Hill and be an advocate for the pest management industry.

A new administration and newly appointed committee members make this year especially meaningful.

“It’s really important that we’re one of the first groups in the door to congratulate the representatives on their terms in office and to educate them on the issues our industry faces,” says Andrew Architect, NPMA’s chief industry relations officer.

PMPs who attend the event are given concise talking points that may be in favor of, or against, a particular issue, or might be about issues that could affect the pest management industry.

“As long as they can talk about themselves and the industry, which I think they do a very good job of, we tend to make an impact,” Architect says. “People don’t have to feel intimidated.”

Most issues have been related to pesticide use, particularly at the state level. Lately, however, business issues have been on the ballot. Because these regulations affect PMPs, the NPMA has taken them on. But it helps when PMPs take action, too.

“If PMPs can meet with their local or state representatives at home, it’s hugely powerful,” Architect says. “It’s reinforced even more when they come visit their representatives in Washington during Legislative Day.”

An orientation session is offered to first-time Legislative Day attendees, so they know what to expect. They are paired with PMPs from their state who have attended before. If their representatives are out of town, they will meet with the staff. Either way, it’s a win-win, Architect says.

“From our perspective, both are great,” he continues. “It makes the NPMA’s job a lot easier if we can work off a connection that was made by a PMP who lives in the district of his or her representative.”

The NPMA’s policy team follows up with the representatives, and encourages PMPs to do the same. The NPMA drafts a message the PMPs can send to whomever they met with, to thank them for their time.

Legislative Day is just one way PMPs can get involved. The NPMA encourages PMPs to provide input and advice, particularly from anyone who has helped make a difference on a sate or local level.

“We would love for them to share any kind of experiences they’ve had in politics,” Architect says. “If we could work collectively to build off of that, it’s best for everybody in the industry.”

Managing Editor Diane Sofranec can be reached at dsofranec@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3793.

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