Importance of being politically active

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CHIP ROGERS
AAHOA President & CEO

In 2017, the hotel industry scored a huge win when Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. AAHOA members were instrumental in conveying to our lawmakers the importance of reducing the tax burden on small business owners and how this legislation would boost the success of American communities. Now, hoteliers are putting their tax savings to use by reinvesting into their businesses by hiring new employees, raising wages, and making capital improvements.

AAHOA continues to work hard to raise awareness on our issues within state houses and in Washington, D.C., but the approaching midterm elections are where we need to take our activism next. So many of our most pressing issues still need Congress’ attention. Whether it is promoting a statutory fix of the disputed joint-employer definition, promoting common sense ADA reform, or making the new tax reform provisions permanent, there is a lot to be done, and your voice impacts who is making the decisions on these issues.

But for this to be possible, the candidates who are committed to promoting the interests of hoteliers need to make it into office. First and foremost, do research into the candidates who are running in your state’s elections. This could consist of anything from checking out their past voting records to finding out what groups or businesses, if any, are endorsing them. It is essential to have a clear understanding of what kind of issues each candidate finds most important and what initiatives they plan to support if they win that seat in November.

Too often, many Americans assume that either their candidate is safe or that their one vote will not make a difference in the outcome of a race. Neither are true. In today’s tense political climate, races are getting more competitive and could swing either way, even in areas that are considered “safe” for a specific party. After the tax reform victory, we need to maintain the positive and business-friendly momentum that is currently on Capitol Hill. In this past year alone, we witnessed how pro-growth policy-making spurs the economic strength of our nation and keeps our small businesses thriving.

Keep in mind that the outcome of the midterm elections could drastically change the landscape of Congress and shift its priorities. The policies that made our economy so strong could be upended by politicians who do not prioritize entrepreneurship and free enterprise. Make every effort to go into that voting booth with an educated and informed decision about who you want to represent you and America’s small business owners. Your vote is how you make sure that the candidates who will protect and promote your interests are given a fighting chance to secure the most influential positions in America.

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