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Florida Council of Chapters Winter Leadership Forum Legislative Committee Briefing Col Fran Martin, USAF (ret)—Chair St Johns River Valley Chapter Lt Col.

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Presentation on theme: "Florida Council of Chapters Winter Leadership Forum Legislative Committee Briefing Col Fran Martin, USAF (ret)—Chair St Johns River Valley Chapter Lt Col."— Presentation transcript:

1 Florida Council of Chapters Winter Leadership Forum Legislative Committee Briefing Col Fran Martin, USAF (ret)—Chair St Johns River Valley Chapter Lt Col Bob Bienvenue, USAF (ret) Lake & Sumter Counties Chapter January 17, 2014

2 Objectives Big Picture of MOAA’s Legislative Mission Provide FLCOC approach to MOAA’s “Aspirational Goal” of coverage in every District Become familiar with resources available Understand how to get started and carry on the Mission

3 Outline Foundation of MOAA’s Legislative Agenda Methods and Products Providing Resources and Information Council Legislative Mission Chapters Legislative Mission All Roads Lead to Washington Florida Demographics Legislative Action Resources Legislative Informative Resources MOAA’s Legislative Calendar Challenges Preparation for Breakout Sessions

4 Foundation of MOAA’s Legislative Agenda MOAA By-Laws Mission Statement Vision Lobbying Guidelines Bi-Annual Resolutions The Military Coalition (TMC) “One Powerful Voice”

5 Methods and Products Foster working relations with Congress and staffers Foster working relationships with DOD and Services’ staff Coordinate with TMC on positions and actions Testify at Congressional Hearings Paid Advertisements Press Releases

6 Methods and Products cont’d Press Interviews (TV, Radio, Print and Social Media) “Letters to the Editors” Storming the Hill Legislative Action Alerts Webinars Commentaries – “The Bottom Line” Marix Awards

7 Providing Resources and Information Annual Legislative Priorities Legislator Report Cards Bill Sponsorship Lists (Website) Talking Papers on Key Issues Semi-automated Cap-Wiz s (editable) Capitol Hill Operator “The Affiliate” “Military Officer” Magazine Weekly Legislative Updates

8 Council Legislative Mission Team Leader for Storming the Hill – Schedule Appointments (29 potential visits) – Coordinate team members’ assignments – Provide feedback on the receptiveness of their visits – The goal of this one-day lobbying effort is to increase the number of cosponsors on key legislative issues. Coordinate Coverage amongst the 43 chapters for the 27 Congressional Districts and their 64 District Offices Provide guidance and assistance to Chapter Legislative Liaisons

9 Chapter Legislative Mission Timely Response to Urgent “Calls to Action” Establish Grassroots Voice – Contact with Local Congressional Offices – Meet twice a year with Legislators and/or Staff – Regular Follow-ups – Assist members in conveying our message MOAA Ambassadors in the community – Visible mission activities connected directly to your chapter Be a “Force Multiplier” – energize your members

10 All Roads Lead to Washington TMC (32 Org) Members (380,000+) Chapters (400+) Councils (40) “Council and chapter members are the single largest group national MOAA can mobilize to support its legislative goals.”

11 Florida Demographics 110,000 Currently Serving servicemembers – Active and reserve components 190,000 military retirees (enlisted & officer) – ≈ 38,900 MOAA members (5200 chapter mbrs) ≈ 500,000 family members, dependents of retirees and surviving spouses Our constituent base is ≈ 805,000 people (voters)

12 Legislative Action Resources Throughout the year, national MOAA communicates with members through its flagship publication, Military Officer, by – publishing information in the Washington Scene – including tear-out letters or postcards to mail to national legislators – including personalized messages on legislative issues MOAA’s Weekly Legislative Update ( )

13 Legislative Informative Resources “Megavote” provides weekly summaries of important votes by elected officials “GovTrack” – roll call votes on Bills of Interest including Bill language Sign-up for your Legislators’ Updates The Hill Newspaper Military.Com MOAA’s “Media Center”

14 MOAA’s Legislative Calendar Each fall, the Government Relations team identifies and evaluates the needs and potential threats to the entire uniformed services community. Staff then work with the board of directors to develop a list of legislative goals for the coming -- year published each January in Military Officer. MOAA personnel coordinate their advocacy efforts with other military and veterans’ organizations in The Military Coalition. Legislative goals are reviewed biennially and can be influenced by: – events on Capitol Hill; – the president’s budget request; and – changing economic conditions.

15 M MOAA’s Legislative Calendar cont’d April Storming The Hill – MOAA team members from all 50 states August Recess District Meetings Legislator Score Cards (sponsorship/voting status) Urgent Calls to Action as Bills are finalized for voting in the House & Senate

16 Challenges Sequestration for The next Budget Request (FY 2016) Report by the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Committee – Due in February Medicare and Tricare Reimbursement Rate Reduction – April We’ll need to go to the mattresses

17 Florida Congressional District Map

18 Florida’s 6 VP Areas

19 Breakout Sessions NW, NE and SW with Fran East Central, West Central and SE with Bob Proposed Chapter Assignments Lead Chapter Concept First Steps as Legislative Liaisons Questions will be handled in the breakout session

20 Getting Started Make your name familiar to the District office director(s). Foster any personal relations other members of the chapter may have with the Congressmember and/or his/her staff. Volunteer to participate on the Congressperson’s “Veterans Advisory” group. Keep your chapter members informed on the latest Calls for Action – provide links in your newsletter to the apps embedded in the calls for action and Bills of Interest section of the MOAA website. Prepare for two meetings a year in your assigned district office with staff and the Congress person (during their recesses) to maintain a cordial professional relationship and to present the MOAA positions on legislation and other matters of interest. – Give some background on MOAA and who we advocate for – our “constituents” – Prepare “Talking points” for handouts at any meetings. (Use resources on the Web Site) – Thank them for their sponsorship of MOAA’s Key Bills or ask them to sign up – Go in Pairs See “Strawman” Letter of Introduction to use by early February

21 Maintaining the Effort React to the MOAA direct appeals for HOT calls/contact with your assigned Representative(s). Summarize any concrete conclusions or factual information that comes out of your meetings and share with MOAA Gov’t Relations staff (remember keep the chain of command informed) Send a “thanks for your time” note right after any meeting. Use the “Key Bills” button in the “Take Action” tab on the website to find out co-sponsorship status of your rep – that is always a good opener for conversation whether to thank them or to ask them to sign-up.

22 Good Luck We are all in this together as “servant leaders” Collaboration gets better results This MISSION is the most important as a MOAA A ffiliate Call or for assistance: Fran – yahoo.com Bob –


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