“Let’s Make Democracy Personal Again” is the floral industry’s call to action for the Society of American Florists’ 37th Annual Congressional Action Days (CAD), March 13-14 in Washington, D.C.
With new faces in Congress and issues that impact every floral business high on the administration’s legislative agenda, SAF urges members to reach out to federal lawmakers at home and in the nation’s capital.
“After a chaotic election year, we have to bring our issues back into focus. We need to renew and reinforce our personal connections on Capitol Hill and educate first-time members of Congress about our industry,” said SAF President Martin Meskers, AAF, of Oregon Flowers Inc. in Aurora, Oregon.
“CAD is democracy in its best and most basic form,” said Lorence Wenke of Wenke Greenhouses in Kalamazoo, Michigan. “Citizens speaking directly to the legislators they elect to represent them — in Washington — is what changes the world.”
Lobbying on Capitol Hill for the first time last year felt a little intimidating, recalled Anne Stewart of Smithers-Oasis – North American Operations in Kent, Ohio. Despite all the preparation and training CAD participants receive, “I was sure I was going to blow it,” she said. “But as soon as you get into the office and start talking, you realize they’re just people like us — and they really, really want to hear from the constituent. I felt very uplifted.”
Kristen Gainan-Sparboe of Gainan’s Floral & Greenhouses in Billings, Montana, also attended CAD for the first time last year. She was “impressed by the process — and I loved having the opportunity to network with fellow florists. I would highly recommend it to anyone.”
“CAD is a priceless opportunity to speak with (members of) Congress about issues that will affect our business,” said Tanner Wheat of Lafayette Florist, Gift Shop & Garden Center in Lafayette, Colorado.
CAD deadlines: The cut-off date for guaranteeing the SAF room rate at the CAD hotel is Feb. 17. Early CAD registration ends Feb. 21. Your registration includes an additional FREE registration for a second person from your company who has never attended CAD before. For details and to register for CAD, visit safnow.org/cad.
Watch SAF Chairperson Shirley Lyons, AAF, PFCI, of Dandelions Flowers & Gifts in Eugene, Oregon, talk about a legislative aide calling her the ‘small business queen’ during last year’s Congressional Action Days in this video: