A Day in the Life of a One-Day Lobbyist

PTAA’s own Mary Gwyn of Apartment Dynamics wrote a piece for the National Apartment Association about her experience at NAA’s Day of Lobbying in March:

It is an honor that we citizens can impact government, lawmaking and regulations in this country. I am always awed when I take advantage of this right and opportunity to express my opinions to our leaders on issues that impact our industry. Beyond our votes, if our voices are not heard, others may sway our leaders in directions we don’t agree with and that are counter to our business and the affordability of housing. A Day of Lobbying each year is very little to give to see that our voices are heard. It’s a great lesson in civics!

One of my Congressional visits was to Rep. Mark Walker (R), a freshman from North Carolina. He came from outside the political circles, serving as a pastor in Greensboro prior to running for Congress.

A group of eight of us gathered to meet with him, three of whom were first-time lobbyists. We filled the hall while we let his staff know we were there for our appointment, but there was some confusion – no appointment on the calendar. And although we had emails from his office, there was no need to pull them up. In fact, they quickly found a way to “squeeze” us in before the Congressman’s next appointment.

We were taken from his small but sunny outer office, to a rich wood-paneled room. The walls were covered with pictures and sayings that demonstrated his beliefs and interests. He crowded all eight of us and his Legislative Assistant into the room. Three of us were from his district, and introduced ourselves. His eyes were intent on each of us as we spoke.

You really should read the whole thing because it eloquently describes why participating in government relations activities like the Day of Lobbying is so important, and how it can enrich your career.