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Alliance Member Society CEOs Step Up – Now It’s Your Turn…

In last week’s posting, I alerted you to the Senate Finance Committee’s “blank slate” tax reform proposal that “operates from an assumption that all special [tax] provisions are out unless there is clear evidence that they: 1) help grow the economy, 2) make the tax code fairer, or 3) effectively promote other important policy objectives.”  The leaders of the Finance Committee – Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Senator Orin Hatch (R-Utah) – asked their colleagues in the Senate to provide them feedback on which tax preferences should be preserved by July 26.  To refresh your memory, here are some recent news stories and editorial coverage of the Senate Finance Committee’s proposal.

The Alliance sprang into action immediately.  I sent an email to the tax staff of every U.S. Senator and we asked every Alliance member society CEO to email the two U.S. Senators from his or her society’s home state, as well as Senators in those states where their societies have a significant number of members.

The response from CEOs has been nothing short of terrific – and the reaction from public policymakers and their staff to our messages has been gratifying.  Within minutes of receiving the Alliance’s “Call to Action,” member society CEOs began firing off emails to legislators.  And within minutes of receiving those emails from key constituents, lawmakers and their staffs began responding.  Several of those responses went something like this: “We remember meeting you when you were in Washington, D.C., earlier this year [for the Alliance’s “Day on the Hill” event held in conjunction with the Presidents Section Mid-Year Meeting], and we are strong supporters of fraternals and the good work they do in our state.”

That tells me two things: 1) legislators listen to feedback from their constituents; 2) the Alliance’s effort to bring member society CEOs to Washington, D.C., every two years has significantly increased awareness of and support for individual societies and the fraternal benefit system.

Now it’s time to kick-off our broad-based grassroots campaign involving employees, agents, local chapter leaders, and rank-and-file members of Alliance societies.  And we’ve made it as easy as possible for you to participate in this effort.  Simply click on this link and you’ll be taken to the Alliance’s Senate Blank Slate Grassroots Campaign.  From there, you just fill in your name, address, and society information and instantly a message to your Senators will be created for you.  You complete the process by clicking on the “Send” button and your messages will arrive in Senate offices within seconds.  (For a quick tutorial on how this process looks, please click here.)

Because of the tight July 26 deadline for Senators to provide their feedback to Senators Baucus and Hatch, this is an entirely electronic grassroots effort – there is simply no time for “snail mail.”  Every Alliance member society will be asked to send the link to individuals within their societies for whom they have email addresses, as well as post it on their social media sites.  You can get a jump on this effort by sending your emails to Senators directly from this blog posting.

What’s the danger of not participating?  There are literally hundreds of entities – churches, charities, credit unions, life insurers, and the NCAA to name a few – that have some sort of tax preference for their organization or their product.  Each will be asking Senators to look favorably upon them when responding to the Senate Finance Committee’s “blank slate” proposal.  It will be much easier for lawmakers to ignore or overlook those groups that stay on the sideline.  The Alliance’s advocacy efforts are built on telling a compelling story about the value and validity of the fraternal exemption – not hiding in the shadows and hoping no one will notice.  So let’s shout from the mountain tops and let Senators know who we are and what we do.  Click here to get started

3 Responses

  1. Way to go American Fraternal Alliance for making this so easy to do and the impact is so important!!

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