Getting to know your government affairs team in advance of the 2016 legislative session.

Getting to know your government affairs team in advance of the 2016 legislative session.

(Nov. 25, 2015)  Director of Government Affairs Bruce Beckett sent the following message to WLA members, introducing his team and opportunities for member engagement.

Dear WLA Member,

As we get ready for a busy 2016 legislative session, I’d like to introduce myself and the expanded Government Affairs team that is now working on your behalf in Olympia and beyond.

I have been the director of Government Affairs for the Washington Restaurant Association since 2009, and I am honored to now also represent you and the entire Washington Lodging Association membership under the expanded WLA/WRA partnership.

This joining of forces comes at an important time for our industry. Hospitality businesses in Washington state are facing more and more challenges in the legislative and regulatory arenas, and the speed at which these challenges arise is increasing. By working together, we have a much greater capacity to act quickly and effectively to address challenges on the municipal, regional and state level.

Thanks to the WLA/WRA collaboration, you now have 13 government affairs professionals dedicated to your success. In addition to three seasoned and successful contract lobbyists, you have a staff of state and local government affairs managers, communications experts and local coordinators monitoring issues, implementing well-considered strategies and working with members, legislators and policy makers to get things done in a way that makes sense for your business, your employees and our industry. Meet your GA team here.

Your engagement will help increase our effectiveness and will help ensure that we are representing your concerns and the interests of Washington’s lodging sector. Here are important ways you can get involved:

Serve on the Government Affairs Committee   Open to hotel and restaurant members, the Government Affairs Committee welcomes your participation. The GAC is a great way to engage with your association and get involved in government affairs. As a committee member, you’ll be asked to provide input that will help guide WLA/WRA positions and strategies. You’ll also give input on the issues matrix, which is developed each year to set legislative priorities. The GAC meets three times a year and holds weekly conference calls during the legislative session. Join the GAC here.

Attend the Next GAC Meeting on December 1   The GAC is holding its final meeting of the year on Dec.1 in Burien, and attending this meeting will give you an important introduction to the GAC’s work. You’ll review and approve the 2016 issues matrices, get an overview of 2015 election results and have the opportunity to give input on your priorities as we head into the 2016 session. The meeting will be held at the Elliot Bay Brewhouse & Pub in Burien from 1:30 – 4 p.m. RSVP here. View the lodging issues matrix here and the overall issues matrix here.

Join the Hotel Task Force   Help guide your association as it works on lodging-specific positions and strategies. We’re looking for hoteliers to provide input on policy issues that impact the lodging sector. The Hotel Task Force is a new standing committee and will meet, via conference call, on an as-needed basis when lodging-related issues arise. Task Force members will also receive calls to action and be asked to reach out to elected officials at critical times during session. Sign on by emailing View the lodging priorities we’ve identified for 2016.

Attend the 2016 Hill Climb & Taste Our Best Reception on January 25   A key to our effectiveness is helping elected officials understand how their votes will impact the hotels, restaurants and hospitality employees in their districts. The annual Hill Climb and Taste Our Best Reception is designed to do just that giving you an opportunity to tell your legislators about your business. Please make plans to participate in these fun and important events on January 25. Our team will set up group meetings with legislators, and in the evening you’ll join other industry leaders at a relaxed legislative reception where you’ll have a chance to socialize with your representatives and the state’s elected leadership. Register here!

Thank you in advance for your support of, and participation in, our government affairs efforts. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or Marian Ericks, the WLA/WRA government affairs manager working on lodging issues. We can be reached at 1-800-225-7166.

Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving,

BruceBeckettBruce Beckett
Director of Government Affairs
Washington Restaurant Association  l  Washington Lodging Association