Next month, the ABA Governmental Affairs Office (GAO) will attend the ABA Midyear Meeting in Austin, Texas to talk about what’s happening on Capitol Hill on issues of interest to the legal profession. Our staff will meet with ABA leaders and entities to discuss current policy developments, provide legislative updates, and preview digital advancements and tools that we have in the works for 2020 to help ABA members add their collective voices to ABA advocacy.
During Midyear, look for GAO staff at section, division, standing committee, and task force meetings and at other events throughout the conference. We can update members on what we expect will move in this second session of the 116th Congress and what might not. We want to hear about your interests in what should be moving, now or in the future. Understanding current legislative efforts and federal policy gaps can help entity leaders quickly consider where they might want to focus their volunteer efforts. The GAO team can help answer questions, identify other interested entities, and serve as a resource throughout the ABA policy development and advocacy process.
GAO’s Grassroots and Digital Advocacy team can also show Midyear attendees how to use our Grassroots Action Center tools to send preformatted emails to Congress on issues affecting the legal profession, make phone calls to their members of Congress, and even engage with them on social media. There are several ongoing advocacy campaigns included in the Center to help members “take action” quickly on key ABA issues like funding for the Legal Services Corporation, public service loan forgiveness, veterans legal services, and more.
To demonstrate these tools in real-time, our team will be bringing back the Advocacy Pop-Up Booth. A favorite at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, the Pop-Up Booth will once again feature a bank of iPads that attendees can use onsite to send messages directly to their elected officials, as well as to preview other digital tools that are now available. Having a movable Pop-Up Booth allows GAO to meet more members and engage with them anytime, anywhere. The Midyear Meeting will be an opportunity for members to talk to us firsthand about issues they care about and learn more about how they can join our team of policy experts in advocating on behalf of the legal profession. To follow the Pop-Up Booth during Midyear, please follow us on Twitter @ABAGrassroots.
GAO will also be working with the Standing Committee on Election Law and other entities to debut the all-new ABA Election Center. ABA members can use this new tool themselves or share it with their networks to help others find information on how to register to vote, check registration status, learn about voter accessibility, view candidate profiles, and more. The Election Center will have its own booth in the JW Marriott Austin Hotel from Thursday to Saturday during the conference – look for it close to the registration desk when you arrive or as you travel between events.
Want to learn more about legislative research and how to use it in your traditional and digital advocacy? Attend a panel discussion on Friday, February 14th, at 10:45 am in the JW Marriott Austin with GAO lobbyists and the Bibliographic and Research Instruction Librarian for the Law Library of Congress. During which, they will provide attendees with invaluable legislative research tips and explain how to use that information effectively in their advocacy work.
We look forward to seeing you in Austin! If you need more information or want to meet with GAO staff during Midyear, please contact GAO’s Director of Grassroots & Digital Advocacy Eric Storey at [email protected] for more assistance.