We talk a lot about meeting with your members of Congress — why it’s important, how to setup a meeting, goals, outcomes — and we think it’s just as important to highlight the successes.
Take Steven King, an employee owner at Gala Industries, Inc., an ESOP Association member located in Eagle Rock, VA. Mr. King has been writing letters and meeting with Congressman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia’s 6th District (Mr. King’s member of Congress.) for some time now, and when he was invited to an event being held by the Congressman in November 2011, Mr. King made the decision to go and speak to Congressman Goodlatte about ESOPs. He shared this email with the Association this week:
In early November I was invited to attend a “Dutch Treat Luncheon” in Daleville with Congressman Bob Goodlatte, “to discuss issues of national and local importance.” Having just mailed the Congressman a letter (See Attachment #2) asking him to cosponsor a bill (H.R. 1244) that had been introduced in the House of Representatives, I took advantage of the invitation, thinking it would be a great opportunity to personally ask him to co-sponsor the bill. After listening to his presentation about our country’s ever growing debt issue, etc., those in attendance were able to ask the Congressman questions regarding pretty much anything. Questions ranged from the need for Daylight Savings Time, to government involvement in the banking industry, to employment hiring practices.
Towards the end of the meeting, I finally addressed the Congressman regarding his past, positive support of ESOPs, and asked him to consider signing on as a cosponsor to the H.R. 1244, and also presented him another copy of the letter that I had mailed the week before. Congressman Goodlatte spent several minutes discussing ESOPs and expressed his support for the ESOP concept, actually referencing a plan he and his chief of staff have to introduce some legislation to help ESOPs cut through some red tape that we have to deal with now.
I am happy to report that yesterday I received a letter from Congressman Goodlatte (See Attachment #3) telling us he had cosponsored H.R. 1244 and he “will work hard to see it signed into law.”
If you have any questions regarding this or any other ESOP issue, please feel free to ask.
Letters of this nature are great to see and we thank Mr. King for his work on behalf of the ESOP cause. As Mr. King knows so well, persistent, respectful communication with an elected official is more important than relying on the one time-at-bat home run. A key point as Congress will review ESOP tax benefits at some point over the next two years.
If you’re interested and would like to learn more about meeting with your member of Congress, you can find the information on our website:
The Kits will be updated soon for 2012.
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