Foodservice Equipment Reports

NRA Launches Advocacy Program

It wasn’t all talk last week at the National Restaurant Association’s 26th annual Public Affairs Conference. In addition to serious conversations with legislators, the April 17-18 conference in Washington saw the unveiling of a new interactive advocacy tool.

More than 500 operators from 45 states attended “America Works Here,” a theme emphasizing the industry’s role as the nation’s second-largest private sector employer, one that provides nearly 13 million jobs, and employs one in 10 U.S. workers.

Restaurateurs met with legislators to gather support for bipartisan legislation (S. 687 and H.R. 1265) for a permanent 15-year depreciation schedule for restaurant improvements and construction; encourage further reforms in the debit/credit card swipe-fee market; and urge modifications to the 2010 health care law, including the repeal of the employer mandate (S. 20 and H.R. 1744) and auto-enrollment mandate (H.R. 2206).

The public affairs conference also saw the launching of the NRA’s retooled grassroots program, America’s Restaurant Advocates. The industry-wide, interactive program aims to help restaurateurs engage with elected officials and restaurant colleagues on critical issues through an array of tools to help them learn about and act quickly on key issues. “This online community helps you make a difference on issues that affect the restaurant industry and your restaurant’s bottom line,” according to Rob Gifford, NRA’s executive v.p.-political advocacy.

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