Times Are Changing: Using Your Voice Is More Important Than Ever
Times are changing. I am Jake Braunger, ESA’s new VP of Advocacy and Public Affairs. I joined ESA after having worked for several years with NFIB’s advocacy team. Prior to my time there I served in many political campaign roles throughout the country. Mr. Heaton has joined ESA member, Amarok, as their new VP of Government Relations. Thankfully, Chris will also be serving as a member on our Government Relations Committee as well.
So, let’s get into it, how about those mid-term elections? Times are changing and the Republicans have taken the US House of Representatives back with a small majority. The Democrats have increased their narrow majority in the US Senate. The Democrats also picked up two gubernatorial seats, so the country has 24 Democrat Governors and 26 Republican Governors. The Democrats also made gains in state legislatures resulting in control of both state chambers in 20 states to the Republicans 28 (includes Nebraska’s unicameral body), with the remaining 2 states having split chambers.
It is very possible this will result in a lot of federal gridlock on legislation until after the 2024 elections. This means that the states will continue to serve as “laboratories of democracy” for the next two years. Good bills will need to be passed and bad bills will need to be defeated. Opportunities for you, our members, to get involved and make a difference abound!
You are the experts in the electronic security and life safety industry. You know what it takes to run a business and provide that security and safety to all Americans. State legislators will need to be hearing from you when our issues come up in their states. If you aren’t at the table, you will be on the menu. That is why I am looking forward to putting you at the forefront of our efforts. Many legislators don’t know the first thing about the industry which means you will have a lot of influence if you get involved and build relationships with them.
Why do you need to build a relationship? Well, when was the last time you were told by a complete stranger to do something that you were not already planning on doing? That is a reason we have seen fewer phone-banking around election time. The likelihood that a stranger would convince you to vote for someone who you don’t know much about is very low. However, if a friend of yours explains why they think you should vote for someone you are more likely to listen and consider their opinion. This is how influence is built. The more of a relationship you can build with your elected officials the more influential you will be.
The whole ESA team and I are looking forward to creating those opportunities for you to build influence in 2023 and beyond. The more engaged you are the more likely we will secure victories for our industry, especially when times are changing.