The ESOP Association Advocacy Guide
The best advocates for employee ownership are employee owners themselves. This has been the guiding philosophy behind the last four decades of successful public policy advocacy by The ESOP Association. However, being an articulate and informed spokesperson for employee owners takes effort—including learning a proven process to maximize the likelihood for success. The ESOP Association has prepared resources to teach you these best practices, provide background materials and briefs, and give you the necessary tools so you can step into the public arena with confidence.
For employee ownership advocacy, our proven approach follows some simple rules:
We absolutely, 100 percent do not care which political party a person represents. Seriously. If elected officials are champions for employee ownership and ESOPs, we are a champion for them.
Good research results in good policy. That’s why we use a fact-based, independently validated approach to the public policy we seek and the changes we would like to see made.
Elected officials care most about their own constituents, and we think that is the way it should be. We believe the most effective advocates are the employee owners who live, work, and vote in a member’s state or district. And with more than 14 million employee owners nationwide, ESOPs represent one of the largest pools of voters in the country.
Preparation, practice, and follow through are key. Good advocacy begins with the first contact to set up a meeting and does not end until the follow-up to the encounter is complete.
Being a good advocate means being an informed citizen and an active voter. Learn the issues that are important to employee ownership. Know where candidates stand on those issues before voting.
Employee Owner Advocacy Day in Washington: One of the Most Important Days Every Year for All Employee Owners
Every May for more than four decades, The ESOP Association has held its National Conference in Washington, D.C.—including a day for employee owners to visit their members of Congress on Capitol Hill. As a result of these efforts, thousands of meetings with members of Congress have been held, and one of the most successful stories of policy advocacy has been written. This annual Advocacy Day is a cornerstone for the strategy to preserve the laws that created ESOPs and to maintain the incentives Congress placed in the tax code to encourage employee ownership.
The ESOP Association’s Advocacy Day is one of the most rewarding experiences for any employee owner; it is a time for members from around the country to share their stories with elected officials and to win their support for our cause.
The professional staff of The ESOP Association will help chapters and employee owned companies receive training on best practices, seek and schedule meetings with their Representatives and Senators, prepare for those meetings, and conduct follow-up communications to ensure that elected officials’ commitments are kept and their questions are answered.