ELFA is the platform
for the equipment finance industry to advocate for public policy issues at the federal level. This platform effectively takes the interest of more than 575 member companies and creates one voice that strengthens our impact on policy issues.
At Capitol Connections, May 15 in Washington, D.C., members will advocate on behalf of the industry. Capitol Connections is just one component of the association’s government relations strategy. This strategy is a three-legged stool with the legs of that stool being direct advocacy, grassroots mobilization and political involvement. By merging all three into our government relations strategy, we create a united voice.
Direct Advocacy, often called lobbying, is the expression of our First Amendment rights to petition our government. ELFA’s direct advocacy falls into two broad categories, education and advocacy.
Elected officials come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and because of that, they do not always know the subtle details essential to operating an equipment finance company. A large portion of ELFA’s direct advocacy efforts focus on education about the industry, because if elected and appointed officials don’t understand how equipment finance benefits the economy, they are unlikely to support changes that would benefit our industry.
When determining whether or not to advocate on any given matter, ELFA legislative staff engage with ELFA members to determine how current policy is working for the equipment leasing and finance industry. Additionally, ELFA staff work with member companies to review proposed laws and rules.
Once an issue with current policy or proposed legislation is identified, ELFA staff, often in coordination with member company volunteers, engage directly with Members of Congress and their staffs in order to educate them about the issue. Once that base level of education is achieved, we are then able to advocate for the path that will lead to best results for the equipment leasing and finance industry, and accordingly, the U.S. economy.
Lobbying by ELFA staff is not always enough to convince government officials that a policy is right or wrong for the industry. It takes a local voice, or industry expert, to relay the message. This is where ELFA’s grassroots network comes into play to create the next leg on our stool. ELFA’s grassroots programs are geared towards bringing the voice of our industry to elected officials, giving firsthand accounts to policymakers on matters that affect the everyday lives of member companies. Sharing your voice, inviting elected officials to meet with your employees who work in their districts, and partnering with other industry companies increases the volume and helps us stand out.
Political involvement is knowing which candidates understand and support the industry and then voting for those candidates. Civic engagement can go further than just voting. Running a campaign takes volunteers. Perhaps a candidate in your area needs someone to help introduce him or her to other community members. Alternatively, the candidate may need help walking your neighborhood and meeting your neighbors. These activities can help push an industry candidate into an elected position and make the candidate recognize you as a valuable resource to them when they need to know how a policy will affect the local economy.
Just like growing a successful business takes capital, running a campaign takes funding to pay staff, run political advertisements and travel around the district. To help create that stronger, united voice, ELFA formed its political action committee, LeasePAC, to collect voluntary contributions from hundreds of employees at ELFA member companies and pool those funds to make contributions to candidates who share our values. The LeasePAC committee is composed of employees from ELFA companies and oversees all LeasePAC activities. To find out more about LeasePAC, please visit the LeasePAC website at www.elfaonline.org/advocacy/leasepac
How to Get Involved
Sign up for Capitol Connections by April 12 at www.elfaonline.org/events
. Alternatively, you can reach out to ELFA Federal Government Relations staff to start planning to host a legislator at your office. Developing relationships now with those who make policy decisions helps us to be a stronger voice when we need to find advocates to hear our side in the debate.
It is critical that we engage those who represent us, so our policy issues are known and acted on. An informed and engaged membership is the core of ELFA and its government relations strategy. ELFA works to provide a variety of resources to our members to keep you current on policy issues and events. We need you to carry the message on critical issues to policymakers at the federal and state levels. Together we make a difference.
View your video invitation and sign up for Capitol Connections by April 12 at
Become an ELFA Advocacy Champion!
ELFA is excited to announce the expansion of its federal advocacy programming this year. Advocacy Champions is a new competition between ELFA’s Business Council Steering Committees (BCSCs) that encourages members to actively participate in the association’s advocacy initiatives. ELFA members will earn points for their BCSC with each activity they participate in.
This year’s program is designed to encourage engagement with policy makers at the federal level. BCSCs will get points when their members participate in Capitol Connections, or when one of their member companies meets with their Members of Congress in their hometown.
The results of this year’s program will be announced during ELFA’s Annual Convention in October 2019, and the BCSC with the most points will win! The winning BCSC will not only receive bragging rights for the year, but also will have their BCSC’s name engraved on a trophy, which will be awarded annually and will surely become as coveted as Lord Stanley’s Cup!
Now is the perfect time to start. Register for Capitol Connections by Friday, April 12. Reach out to the ELFA Federal Government Relations staff to start the process of scheduling an in-district site visit.
For more information about the Advocacy Champions program, visit ELFA’s Federal Advocacy website: www.elfaonline.org/advocacy/federal-advocacy or contact Chelsea Neil at email@example.com.