By MMAC President Tim Sheehy
For those cynics who read this opening and rolled their eyes, yes, we acknowledge that democracy is a contact sport. And yes, MMAC has a lobbying team paid to represent the interests of its members. We also acknowledge the responsibility inherent in this role. If we don’t factually and accurately represent our point of view and understand the arguments against our point of view on legislation/policy, then we run the risk of being a distrusted advocate. Having more than 50 years experience lobbying at the local, state and federal levels, we know that honest representation is at the core of being an effective advocate.
Our lobbying team likes to note that if you’re not at the policy table, you’re likely on the menu. MMAC takes pride in making sure our voice is in the room when decisions impacting our members and the region’s economy are on the table. We are not naïve to the challenges facing policy making at all levels today. It is a more partisan and difficult context in which to operate. Our members have varied points of view. Our role is to stay true to helping represent employers in their self-interest to invest capital and create jobs. That self-interest comes with the balance of raising the quality of life for all.
Today’s reality is not the black and white movie, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” But we do realize that in representing our members we have a responsibility to improve democracy — not the reverse.