BIG 'I" LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE
Each year, volunteers from Big i Oregon, join forces in Washington DC with other BIG “I" members from across the country. We meet with national level leaders, have a national YAC conference, Big I Board Meetings, Committee Meetings and most importantly we spend time talking with our elected leaders and their staff's directly. In recent years, we have made a committed effort to take YAC members to DC to show them how their voice can be heard at the national level. Through the donations of time and money by some of our local Big I Oregon board leadership and some of our Premier Partners, we have established a YAC Leadership Scholarship Fund to help make advocacy and leadership training more accessible for our YAC.
2020 VIRTUAL LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE
While the COVID-19 Pandemic brought a completely new set of realities to how we work, travel and live, it did not slow down the focus of our advocacy for our industry and the client's we serve. Rather than making our annual trip to DC this year, we heard from national level leadership speakers form our industry and federal government in the first virtual legislative conference and we held our meetings with our congressional leadership and their staff virtually in Zoom meetings.
Our 2020 lobbying sessions were focused on three primary areas:
- We educated our elected leaders on Business Interruption Insurance and the way it is meant to respond. We advocated for congress to avoid passing any laws that might retroactively reform insurance contract language. We believe that insurance claims should be submitted and adjudicated based on the terms of the contract but that we should also avoid providing a false hope that forcing uncovered BI claims to be covered would be a viable solution. In fact, it would quickly bankrupt our industry and threaten all insureds.
- We thanked congress for the CARES ACT and PPP but addressed some of the shortcomings of the execution of that attempt to support businesses. We advocated for a federal solution in alignment with the America's Recovery Fund Coalition (ARFC) to help support businesses getting back to business. We are members of the ARFC which is a joint industries coalition that represents over 45% of the pre-COVID-19 United States workforce. The Recovery Fund would not pick winners or losers and could provide needed help quickly for businesses forced to close their doors or alter operations due to COVID-19. Learn more about ARFC here.
- We asked our elected leaders to work with our industry to create federally backed solutions for business continuity issues caused by future pandemics.
Here are some screen shots of our Zoom meetings with Congresswoman Bonamici and her staff and our meeting with Congressman Schrader and his staff.