41st SAF Congressional Action Days Held Virtually

by Details Flowers ● 30 March ● News & Events

SAF’s Congressional Action Days is celebrating its 41st year in 2021 and now every florist can participate without having to travel to Washington D.C.  SAF’s annual Congressional Action Days, April 13-14, is an all-virtual affair this year for the first time— but the advocacy will still have real-world impact on floral research funding, access to fresh product, minimum wage and the agriculture workforce.  We are encouraging all florists to participate and get a feel for the event, so next year they can join in person.

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Note: Event registration is free for SAF members.

Join the Details team and other floral industry peers as we plan to make our voices heard virtually on Capitol Hill and in federal agencies during Congressional Action Days!  This event is typically the highlight of our year, but given the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Congressional offices still remain closed to the public.  A shift to the virtual meeting format gives SAF members the opportunity to participate in the event without the barriers of travel cost and time away from their businesses.

You'll be able to share your perspective on agriculture labor, minimum wage, floriculture research funding and access to duty-free fresh product - while hearing from others about these important topics. SAF will arm you with all of the information and training you need to feel confident and ready to highlight how these issues affect your business during virtual meetings with members of Congress and their staffs as well as staff at federal agencies. The event starts on Tuesday, April 13 at 9:00 a.m. ET with a general session kickoff followed by advocacy meetings throughout the day on Tuesday and Wednesday. We’ll wrap up and share key takeaways heard in your meetings on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. ET. 


So, What is CAD?

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Congressional Action Days is an opportunity for members of the floriculture industry to show Capitol Hill that floriculture matters, and we vote. In past Congressional Action Days, SAF members successfully increased funding and expanded reach for the Floriculture Crops Report, maintained funding levels for the Floriculture and Nursery Research Initiative, opposed a $15/hour federal minimum wage, and vocalized the need for immigration reform.

By the Numbers

  • 130 Congressional appointments in 2019
  • 28 states represented in 2019

“Congressional Action Days is a time-honored and important event for our industry,” said Kate Penn, SAF CEO. “There’s nothing to replace the energy and excitement of being on Capitol Hill. That’s not an option this year – but we’re thrilled that this virtual format will enable members who haven’t been a part of SAF’s advocacy efforts first-hand to do so this year.”

SAF Senior Lobbyist Joe Bischoff, Ph.D. says the need for enhanced engagement is greater than ever. “In a year where floriculture and small businesses have been hit so hard by the pandemic, we need to take the opportunity to tell our story to the Hill and federal agencies. We need our industry to have a very big voice.”

The virtual format also necessitates an advocacy strategy shift: Rather than matching participants up with meetings in each of their congressional offices — which results in well over 100 total meetings — SAF will schedule meetings with a laser-like focus on members of Congress who have influence over SAF’s issues and who have been supportive of the floriculture industry. SAF also will plan meetings with relevant federal agency staff, including important players at USTR, USDA and the EPA — something that logistics and time prohibits during an in-person CAD.

“We plan to take advantage of the virtual setting to leverage our meetings to make the most impact — with the members and staff who can directly impact and move our issues forward,” said Bischoff.

Looking Back at Congressional Action Days

Details' Founder & CEO Corrine Heck has been attending SAF's Congressional Action Days in person now for 5 years - here's a look at some of her favorite moments!

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