Crafting an Industry-Wide Advocacy Agenda for 2021
As the printing industry continues to grow and diversify, so does its advocacy in Washington and across the country. 2021 will see a new president inaugurated, a new U.S. Congress sworn into office, and new faces among the ranks of governors and state legislators, and PRINTING United Alliance is poised to meet all of these changes with the most robust government affairs program ever assembled to represent the industry. Launched earlier this year, the new Alliance brings together the legislative, political, and regulatory expertise necessary to advocate for a pro-print agenda. This three-legged stool model is the gold standard of advocacy and allows the Alliance to leverage the voices of its member companies to achieve a successful business environment for the industry, its workforce, and its customers.
In an era of divided government, this holistic approach to advocacy is especially critical. Picture a balloon full of hot air (Washington pun intended), and squeezing the air from one side of the balloon to the other. That image demonstrates the push-pull relationship between legislative and regulatory policy. Congress passes laws and regulatory agencies, like the Department of Labor, implement the details. If a Congressional outcome is undesirable to the printing industry, the Alliance can turn on its regulatory advocacy to ease the impact on the industry. Conversely, burdensome or costly regulatory actions can be met by lobbying Congress to repeal agency rules or withhold implementation funding.
The Alliance’s scope of advocacy, too, is one that allows for the most beneficial impact to the printing industry. Both good and bad policy ideas flow freely between Capitol Hill and state legislatures (and municipalities, too). By providing both federal and state industry representation, the Alliance is able to effectively elevate policies that benefit the printing industry, its employees, and its customers, while at the same time combatting policies that would be detrimental to industry innovation and success.
The Alliance also promotes the printing industry’s political brand – one that has limitless potential if industry comes together to pool its voices and its resources in support of a common agenda. Politics is just more than campaigns and elections; it includes relationship building and networking to educate and engage lawmakers as stakeholders. After all, they are making key decisions that ultimately impact your company’s bottom line. The Alliance provides its members with the most up-to-date grassroots advocacy tools to help facilitate your company’s political engagement. The Alliance also offers its members the opportunity to politically engage via PrintPAC, the printing and packaging industry’s premier political action committee. This committee is dedicated to electing pro-print senators and representatives. Additionally, companies provide corporate support to Print Powers America, which funds special industry advocacy initiatives on issues such as tax and trade.
However, the Alliance’s legislative, regulatory, and political muscle is only as strong as its grassroots power — the Alliance member companies. And step one of flexing this grassroots power is by participating in the first-ever PRINTING United Alliance Legislative and Regulatory Priorities Survey, an exclusive survey for Alliance member companies open now through Dec. 1, 2020. By helping craft a forward-looking, unified industry advocacy agenda, you can help set your company and the industry on a course for success. For more information on the survey or on PRINTING United Alliance government affairs efforts, visit sgia.org/advocacy.
Lisbeth Lyons is the Vice President, Government and External Affairs, PRINTING United Alliance, having joined Printing Industries in March 2005 as Director of Legislative Affairs. In this position, she is responsible for providing direct advocacy before Congress and the Administration on key industry legislative initiatives, as well as for the strategic direction of the organization's grassroots and external outreach activities. She serves as Treasurer of PrintPAC, the only industry political action committee dedicated solely to electing pro-print lawmakers.
Previously, Lisbeth was Director, Government Affairs at the United States Telecom Association (USTA), representing telecommunications companies ranging from the nation's largest Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) to small, rural telephone companies. Lisbeth also served as Director of Grassroots & Legislative Services at the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation's largest small business advocacy organization.
Lisbeth is a candidate for an M.A. in Political Management at The George Washington University and holds a B.A. from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Prior to working in Washington, D.C., Lisbeth was a teacher with Chicago Public Schools.