Commentary & Analysis
Are You Doing Your Part to Make Sure PRINT’S VOICE Is Being Heard in Washington?
Do you know about the joint NPES/PIA program for raising Print’s Voice in the Nation’s Capital? We all complain about Congress not getting anything done, but how many of US actually do anything about it? Here’s a great program that gets the word out about print and pokes at Congress to get stuff done.
By Cary Sherburne
Published: April 9, 2015
Greg Salzman, President of Chicago-based Aleyant, would not normally be considered a political activist, but he got involved in a great program put together by NPES and PIA and found it to be a good use of his time. Print’s Voice is planning its 2015 Capitol Hill Fly-In for June 2-3. During the event, members of NPES, PIA and allied industry associations will convene in Washington, D.C. to bring top priority graphic communications industry business concerns directly to their elected representatives and other congressional leaders. There’s still time to register.
What’s It All About?
In its 5th year, PRINT’S VOICE has grown into a signature event that brings printers and suppliers together for a powerful program of public policy education, issue advocacy, interaction with Members of Congress and social events on Capitol Hill. During this year’s PRINT’S VOICE 15 Capitol Hill Fly-In participants will advocate for:
- Restructuring and revitalizing the U.S. Postal System
- Curtailing abusive “patent troll” practices
- Reducing burdensome government over-regulation
- Preserving pro-growth business tax policy, and
- Strengthening U.S. exporters’ competitiveness in international trade.
What’s It Like?
Salzman, who participated in 2014, said, “Attending this event gave me the frame of mind to invite our local congressman to our office. Imagine the former Chief Deputy Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives sitting in Aleyant's conference room, listening to what's important to us!” Here’s his blog post on that visit with Congressman Peter Roskam. “I never would have considered this possibility had I not participated in Print’s Voice” he added. Salzman took the opportunity to introduce Aleyant to the Congressman, and also to address one of his key hot button issues, patent trolls, by sharing stories that highlighted how patent trolls have impacted print service providers and are, as a result, impacting technology providers like Aleyant. In fact, the issue of patent reform was one of the highlighted issues for the 2014 fly-in.
Interestingly, he discovered that Roskam was already somewhat familiar with web to print solutions since his wife, Elizabeth, a talented artist, had used web-to-print to order from a local printing company.
Salzman encourages other business owners to engage their political leaders and reports that the cost of political involvement does not need to be high. “Legislation in Washington DC has a very large impact on the success of our businesses,” he said. ” It’s all too easy to not think about the laws being passed at a federal level. But there are very important laws being considered by Congress that will absolutely impact our industry.”
Another issue that was highlighted in 2014 and will be again this year is postal reform, which should be a key hot button for anyone associated with the printing and publishing industries. David Currie, Principal at Natomas ES LLC, was another 2014 participant. He said, “The reason I got involved is that I am in the mailing industry. The more we can get the message across to Congress about the value of the USPS to communications in this country, the more likely we are to see real reform in the postal system. Members of Congress are somewhat isolated and don’t fully appreciate mail as a communications tool. It was a good opportunity to explain to them on a real-time basis what postal reform would mean to people that are dependent on the USPS. It is the largest postal service in the world and the most automated. The USPS delivers more mail at a lower price than any other postal service in the world. And it doesn’t cost the taxpayers a dime. Someone has to say it, and I felt a strong personal drive to do so.”
Currie points out that Print’s Voice is open to more people than actually participate in it, and echoed Salzman’s encouragement to folks in the industry to join the fun in June.
To take advantage of travel discounts, be sure to register before the May 1 2015, deadline.
You still have time. Go for it!