Today’s guest-post is from Laura Morgan-Kessler of Van Scoyoc Associates.

It is almost impossible to turn on the news or open your twitter feed today without seeing words like gridlock, partisan, or contentious used to describe the current climate in Washington, D.C. The constant negativity surrounding the events and activities in our nation’s capital has led many to feel disheartened with the political process. However, as has often been the case in Washington, D.C., the times of greatest uncertainly provide the greatest opportunity. A strong federal advocacy effort is exactly what is needed to take advantage of these opportunities.

The idea of federal advocacy started with the birth of our nation. Our Founding Fathers felt that it was important for all citizens to be able to share their views with the newly-formed government. As a result, they included language in the First Amendment that guarantees the people the right “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Every day, thousands of Americans walk the halls of Congress and pound the pavement at federal agencies exercising their First Amendment right to petition the government on a wide range of issues including flood control, infrastructure investment, and public safety.

There is a never-ending list of issues being discussed daily in Washington, D.C., and it is important that the issues of greatest concern to your agency, your constituents, or your members remain at the top of the list. Engaging in a robust federal advocacy effort not only ensures that the issues you care about are being discussed at the federal level, but that you have a seat at the table to help shape the policy and regulations that govern these issues.

Your agency or association also has a unique ability to provide feedback to Congress and the federal agencies on how the laws they pass and the regulations they write are being implemented on the ground. Members of the Congress and the Administration need to understand how the decisions they make in Washington, D.C. impact the daily lives of Americans. As the entities on the ground who are living with the day-to-day impacts of the actions in Washington, D.C., you can provide a valuable insight and knowledge on the effectiveness of these laws and regulations.

Decisions are made every day in Washington, D.C. that make new policies and create new opportunities, and it is imperative that decision-makers hear your voice in Washington, D.C. A consistent federal advocacy effort will ensure that you are well-positioned to take advantage of these new opportunities.

You can see Laura’s bio here.

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