State grassroots chairs for federal and state activities should encourage state and local associations to hold political involvement meetings. Whenever possible, hold them in conjunction with the Government Relations Committee or IFAPAC. In addition to discussing the status of your contact network, you can use your meetings as a forum for discussing issues and politics or meeting with elected officials and candidates. Here are some ideas for meetings:
Invite state and federal candidates to visit with your members and discuss issues of concern to NAIFA. For example, what role are volunteers playing in their campaigns? How can agents and advisors help?
Invite a newly elected member of Congress to meet with members of your association and discuss their election. What did the candidate learn? What role did volunteers play in the campaign? What does the member hope to accomplish? What role can NAIFA members play in the campaign process? ("District Work Periods" are the best time to plan such an event since legislators are usually back home.) Contact the NAIFA national office for the congressional recess schedule, or go to the Advocacy Action Center website for more information.
Invite elected officials on both sides of NAIFA legislative or regulatory issues to discuss their perspectives.
Invite agents and advisors who have run for office or managed a campaign to share their experiences. Why did they get involved? What did they learn? Did the experience help them in their business?
Invite a congressional staffer to discuss what goes on in a congressional office and how agents and advisors can best provide input on legislative issues regarding insurance and financial services.
Invite a local reporter who covers politics to discuss the role that media plays in the political process.
During an election year, invite a political pundit to present the election trends in your state and nationally.
Be sure to inform the NAIFA national office of any meetings where your member of Congress or their staff is present.