The Great American Story

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of IFAPAC, the NAIFA Blog will run occasional posts by NAIFA members highlighting their political involvement and action.

By John A. Davidson, LUTCF, FSS

When we loaded 16 motor coach buses with more than 1,000 well-trained NAIFA members on Tuesday, September 13, 2005, in the middle of NAIFA’s Baltimore Convention and headed to Capitol Hill, we had to alert the Capitol Hill Police that our convoy was for "peaceful purposes!"
 
Never before had NAIFA marshaled so many members to meet with their members of Congress in a single day! We delivered a united, compelling message about the important role that life insurance and annuities play in the financial security of our clients and the value that agents and advisors provide in building financial security for America. This massive show of NAIFA strength happened during my NAIFA presidency and I will never be able to fully articulate how very, very proud I was to be a NAIFA member that day.

For me, getting involved with advocacy started in 1986 (IFAPAC’s 20th anniversary year) when I delivered my first PAC check to my congressman. I was nervous at first, but we talked about his family, the community and what was important to him. Later, he became more than just "my congressman," he became my client!
 
Soon after that first meeting, his chief of staff, Paula, also became a client ... and then her daughter and son-in-law, too! It all came down to establishing trusted relationships, something that we do every day in our business.
 
From that initial meeting with my congressman, I was introduced to six other members of Congress (some of whom are also clients now) and numerous members of the California State Assembly and Senate. Who knew my modest "investment" in IFAPAC would yield such amazing dividends?

Today, whenever I go to Capitol Hill to meet with our members of Congress, I am not just delivering a message from another "special interest group." I am talking with my clients about what they do as lawmakers and how those actions will impact them, their families and their constituents back home. If we take the time to meet with our lawmakers, they listen. I found that before I had actively opened the lines of communication, most of my elected representatives had no idea what you and I do for a living. There’s only one group of people that I can think of who has the talent to educate our lawmakers on this matter, and that’s NAIFA members.

In preparation for our next Congressional Conference on May 24-25, I encourage you to reach out to your representatives today and talk to them about what they are doing to provide financial security for those they love. You might pick up a new local community contact, a new friend and, maybe, even a new client!

If you and I are successful advocates, everyone benefits, especially our clients. And preventing adverse legislative and regulatory consequences is all about them, right?


Comments
Terry Kaltenbach
John has done a fantastic job of documenting the importance of what NAiFA brings to the process of agent involvement in the political dialogue. John's blog so clearly demonstrates the power of a 1,000 members of NAIFA telling their story collectively to their respective member with one voice. Great job- John!
2/22/2016 5:30:31 PM