Who Do You Need to Know for Successful Public Policy Advocacy?

August 14, 2023 | Ten Leaders to Know JD Davis, Vice President of Public Policy, ABI, jddavis@iowaabi.org

Since our founding 120 years ago, ABI has existed to promote the common interests of business in Iowa. This is especially true in the public policy arena.

Good public policy outcomes have two key ingredients. For the first ingredient, a strong, fact-based, public policy proposal must be developed, with real-world implications for change. The second ingredient is access to the folks in the executive and legislative branches that will initiate consideration and vote to adopt ABI policy proposals.

This month and next, ABI will be tending to the first ingredient by convening our public policy committees to develop positions on public policy, consider that output through our legislative committee for recommendations to the ABI board. Ultimately, the ABI board then decides what issues are ready to advance by designating policy priorities for 2024.

It is in the development of the second ingredient that we must ask and answer the question - Who Do You Need to Know for Successful Public Policy Advocacy? ABI answers that question through programming we have developed for members, and your public policy staff cannot stress enough the importance of membership participation in these opportunities.

As you read this, August public policy Committee meetings are underway, but you can still get involved in the meetings that remain at the end of August. In these meetings you can get to know cabinet level members of the Reynolds Administration, who will make presentations on their role and their department’s mission for Iowa. These individuals will also be seeking input from ABI members as they make presentations and take feedback from ABI members at the start of these meetings.

In January, all legislators and key executive branch representatives are invited to attend the ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception. This is a great moment to meet with your legislator and get to know better as the 2024 session is just starting. Learn about their priorities and to share a bit about your company, your role, and the parts of the ABI agenda important to you.

In March you can get to know legislative leaders better by attending ABI’s Business Day in Des Moines. House and Senate leaders from both political parties give updates on their priorities and the prognosis on ABI priorities in real time.

As you can see there is plenty of ABI programming to help you meet the people you need to know in Iowa public policy. But the most important people you can meet live right in your area. They are your own House and Senate members, and they want to meet you too. They are eager to understand their districts as well as possible and that means knowing the employers in their area. Legislators enjoy facility tours, are available for coffee meetings and really appreciate emails from local interests.

If you would like assistance in a meeting with your local legislative leaders, please drop your ABI public policy team an email. JD Davis can be reached at jddavis@iowaabi.org and Brad Hartkopf at bhartkopf@iowaabi.org.

We will set up introductions and meetings and attend if you would like. We hope you take us up on this offer. It will help promote the common interest of the ABI membership!