AAHOA President & CEO
From ADA reform to joint employer, let’s identify and support bipartisanship to make progress on issues that matter to hoteliers.
If you watched the news out of Washington earlier this year, it sure looked like there wasn’t a whole lot of leadership in that city. Political bickering, point-scoring, and cable news talking points are poor substitutes for substantive collaboration and debate, and they led to another unnecessary and regrettable government shutdown. Afterwards, carefully parsed statements from political leaders on both sides of the aisle spoke of a reset of sorts and pledged a desire to work together, although we have yet to see how that will play out.
I bring up the shutdown for two reasons. It reinforces the perception that our political system is hopelessly divided, and it points to the need to send representatives to Washington who understand that their constituents want positive change that brings the greatest good to the most people.
On the first point, the media tends to cover big issues that draw in a lot of viewers and readers. Taxes, spending, social matters – these are all issues where politicians, political parties and interest groups staked out positions long ago. Trying to reconcile a broad spectrum of entrenched viewpoints can lead to some real fireworks, as we’ve seen with healthcare legislation, the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and the recent government shutdown. The polarization of our political parties on these big issues is presented as being black and white (or red and blue if we’re being honest), and it obscures the areas where our politicians are actually working together. That’s why, in this issue, we’re introducing a new feature called Common Ground. In it, we’ll explore vital policy issues that impact hoteliers, and we’ll profile two politicians from opposite sides of the aisle who are working together to address them. I encourage you to take a look at this feature to see how some of our legislators are embracing bipartisanship to make progress on the little things that can lead to big changes for our industry.
To my second point, at the 2018 AAHOA Convention in Washington, D.C., we will be recognizing some of our members who are working hard to ensure our Congress is composed of thoughtful leaders who will fight to maintain our free enterprise system. Meeting with and educating our legislators and their staffs during the National Advocacy Conferences and Legislative Action Summits is one tool to advance issues of vital importance to hoteliers. AAHOA Political Action Committee (PAC) is another important tool we use to advocate for our agenda. Our government is only as good as the representatives we elect to be our voice. Through AAHOA PAC, our members pool their resources to help elect pro-business candidates who understand the unique issues facing hoteliers and small business owners. At the convention, you will have the opportunity to learn how to get involved and invest in AAHOA PAC and see which AAHOA members are instrumental in helping to elect the best candidates. Good policy has no political party, and that’s why AAHOA PAC supports both Republican and Democrat candidates who will be our advocates.
As we move forward into 2018, our legislators will be addressing many contentious issues that will affect hoteliers. From ADA reform to joint employer, it is important that we identify and support the kind of bipartisanship that used to be the normal way of getting things done, not just in Washington, but across the country.