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Momentum building for “Fraternal Resolution” co-sponsor recruitment…

April 22, 2019

The co-sponsor recruitment effort for the 2019 versions of the House (H.Con.Res. 27) and Senate (S.Con.Res. 9) versions of the “Fraternal Resolution” is officially on, and thanks to the work of the Alliance’s largest member societies – Thrivent, Knights of Columbus, Modern Woodmen of America, and WoodmenLife – we’ve come out of the blocks at full speed. As of last week, we’ve already secured 10 Senate (S.Con.Res. 9) co-sponsors and 35 House (H.Con.Res. 27) co-sponsors. Our goal is to exceed the record number of co-sponsors we recruited for previous versions of the Resolution – 108 in the House and 27 in the Senate – by the end of 2020. While we are well on our way, we’ll need the participation of every member society to meet that stretch goal.

Several Alliance member executives responded to the appeal in a previous post asking for sample letters and support material that they could use to contact their Representative and Senators to urge them to become Resolution co-sponsors. That is a standing offer, by the way. Just email me at jannotti@fraternalalliance.org, and I’ll get you what you need.

Alliance lobbyists Jenn Fogel and I visited nine congressional offices – four House and five Senate – during my monthly trip to Washington, DC last week. We focused on newly-appointed members of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee. As usual, our message was met with looks of disbelief by those folks who had no idea what a fraternal was (“You mean there are really financial services organizations that are dedicated to building communities?!?!?”) and strong support from congressional staffers who were aware of the contributions fraternals make to the economic and social health in their states and districts.

Typically, it takes legislative staff a week or two to get back to us to confirm their co-sponsorship of the Resolution. But for the first time ever, I received an email from a staff member confirming his boss’s support for the measure before I left the House Office Building!

On more than one occasion, staffers told us that it would “really help to hear from someone in the district” before they decided to co-sponsor the Resolution. So you can bet Alliance members in a handful of states are going to be hearing from me later this week with a request to contact specific legislators to seal the co-sponsorship deal.

Later this year, the Alliance will be kicking off a broad-based online co-sponsor recruitment campaign that will make it easy for all Alliance member employees, field representatives, and local chapter leaders to contact their Representatives and Senators to either urge them to become a Resolution co-sponsor or to thank them for signing on to the measure. Watch for that program to be unveiled this summer.

In the meantime, check out this video of Senator Tom Tillis’s greeting to the members of WoodmenLife’s North Carolina State Convention last weekend. This is a great example of how WoodmenLife partnered with the Alliance’s federal lobbying firm, Capitol Counsel, to arrange for Senator Tillis to participate in the event. Got a major convention or conference you think would benefit from such a video? Let me know and we can help you contact legislators to coordinate such a video.