By Joshua Habursky
With the historic passage of S. 2155 and generational tax reform, 2018 is shaping up to be one of the most impactful legislative years in recent memory for the community banking sector. Thanks in no small part to the grassroots outreach efforts of community bankers nationwide, the effect of these landmark laws will resonate for months and years to come.
And while these advances are notable and worth celebrating, there’s more to be accomplished. The push for regulatory relief continues. We have a host of issues ahead of us, and community banker participation is essential in bringing them to the forefront of Congress members’ and regulators’ attention.
As ICBA works to advance important community bank legislation, we ask that you continue to stay engaged by lending your time and talent to help sustain our grassroots momentum and deliver these messages with the appropriate efficiency and frequency. It can be as simple as retweeting a message to a member of Congress or as extensive as making the trip to Washington, D.C., next spring for the ICBA Capital Summit.
We recognize that your top priority is serving your communities to help them grow and thrive. So when we ask you to take action, know that we are doing so at a pivotal time in the public policy process, usually targeting a key office, staff member or lawmaker.
Now is the time
As ICBA builds capacity, develops additional resources and takes stock of existing programs, we invite you to engage with us and provide feedback. At the beginning of each Congress, we survey ICBA membership to identify key contacts with elected officials and preferred communication methods.
When the time comes in the early months of the 116th Congress, please take a moment to complete the ICBA State of Advocacy survey so that we can grow our grassroots and “grasstops” outreach. We’ll send you that link directly. Answering these questions will not only improve our efficiency, but also help us determine new initiatives and modifications to existing programs.
You don’t have to wait for this survey to share your opinion. Feel free email me to tell us how we are doing or if you need help with your outreach efforts.
We also invite you to attend a complimentary advocacy training session Sept. 5, in Pittsburgh, to help community bankers effectively communicate their advocacy priorities with policymakers. Participants will take part in ICBA’s Political Capital Game and gain first-hand experience with the public policy process
The future is bright for community bank advocacy, and your efforts this Congress should be applauded. Now let’s build off the momentum gained from these recent, monumental successes to continue creating an environment where community banks flourish.
Joshua Habursky is ICBA assistant vice president of advocacy.