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Executive Vice President Chuck Mulidore thanked the first-timers for coming to LTS this year; 71 first-timers were registered. “Thanks for taking the time to come learn how we can make things happen on Capitol Hill,” he exclaimed. “Your conversations with lawmakers matter; there’s important work to be done.”
Mulidore explained that NAPS works with the Postal Service whenever possible, but there are times when it’s important to have the relationships the organization builds legislatively. And, without SPAC, NAPS would not have access. He expressed confidence that, as a result of the recent passage of postal reform legislation, there will be a Postal Service in 50 years, thanks in large part to NAPS’ legislative efforts.
Director of Legislative & Political Affairs Bob Levi talked about advocacy and that members of Congress want to hear from NAPS members who offer guidance on issues. “No one knows more about the Postal Service than you,” he stressed. “You are most compelling because you have first-hand knowledge of the impact of policies.”
He pointed out that in-person communication is the most effective way to advocate. “You are the experts,” he said. “You have a chance to shine and introduce lawmakers to NAPS. Be proud! You are representing your fellow members who are unable to be here.”
Levi reminded delegates more legislation is needed beyond H.R. 3076, including bills to afford NAPS members MSPB appeal rights and a fair consultation process with the Postal Service. “You represent NAPS—not the USPS,” he urged.
He introduced Ann Strickland, Florida Legislative chair, to talk about SPAC, the Postal Supervisors’ Political Action Fund. She described the fund as a logical extension of the democratic process; there is strength in numbers. “Our legislators need to know who we are and how important we are to processing and moving the mail,” she exhorted.
Strickland said there are going to be a lot of campaigns this year. SPAC funds allow NAPS members to attend fundraisers for those who are NAPS friends and supporters. “SPAC is vital,” she stressed. “Your careers depend on SPAC to get our foot in the door. You are important to SPAC and to NAPS.”
Carl Walton, District of Columbia Branch 135 and a veteran of legislative activities, assembled a few members to role-play how to conduct a meeting with lawmakers and their staffs. With the help of George Barrett, South Jersey Branch 74; Marilyn Walton, Western Region vice president; and Angie Hicks, Greensboro, NC, Branch 157, the group demonstrated the best way to have a meeting with congressional members and staffs using the NAPS talking points and emailed slides.
“Our role is to make an impression,” Walton explained. “We have to take it seriously.”