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    Faces of fraternalism

    Earlier this week, I talked about the importance of cultivating "faces" of fraternalism – i.e., our fraternal stories are best told by those who live them.  Will policymakers know who we are the next time the fraternal tax exemption is challenged?  Here are three stories to demonstrate what we’re doing now to educate and engage legislators:

    • Royal Neighbors of America has visited the offices of Senator Charles Grassley in D.C. and in Iowa.  Royal Neighbors has assisted Iowans in need after a devastating tornado outbreak.  Royal Neighbors' Senior Marketing Executive Judith Tshibangu met with Senator Grassley in D.C., but she brought the message home by establishing a relationship with the Senator’s scheduler in Iowa.  Royal Neighbors expects to have Sen. Grassley attend a homebuilding event to help tornado victims get back on their feet.  Judith also took the fraternal message to an Iowa town hall meeting hosted by Sen. Grassley during the Easter recess.  
    • The Texas Fraternal Congress hosted an informal come-and-go picnic for legislators and staff at the Texas statehouse.  This is the second outreach event that the Texas Fraternal Congress has hosted in Austin and was very well-attended.  Event organizers purchased four large thank-you cards to be distributed to local veterans’ hospitals and invited legislators and staff members to step out of their offices and sign the cards – a great opportunity for fraternalists and legislators to interact and support Texas veterans.  The TFC did a great job of publicizing the event using e-mail, telephone calls, and flyers to get the word out.  The TFC also was able to have their Senate recognize April 12-18, 2009, as Texas Fraternal Week.
    • The Pennsylvania Fraternal Congress held a Legislative Luncheon on Tuesday, May 5, in the Capitol Building in Harrisburg, Penn.  The Pennsylvania fraternals invited their elected officials in an effort to strengthen their relationships with them.  They also invited the Governor and Insurance Commissioner.  The luncheon provided an opportunity to discuss the fraternal movement, what fraternals stand for, and what support fraternal societies need from their legislators.

    Tell us your stories… how are you and your society putting your best "face" forward with legislators?

    Want to get involved, but don't know how?  Contact Elizabeth Snyder, NFCA Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, at esnyder@nfcanet.org for help.

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