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Member Advocacy

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2014 marks Year 5 of a five-year rollout of the SHRM Government Affairs department’s member advocacy initiative. Referred to as the Advocacy Team (or A-Team), this member-involvement program, established in 2010, seeks to appoint a SHRM Advocacy Captain in each of the 435 congressional districts throughout the country. HR Advocates are also identified in each of the congressional districts to provide support to Advocacy Captains in educating lawmakers and their staffs on public policies that may have implications for the HR profession.

In brief, Advocacy Captains are responsible for establishing a relationship with their federal legislator locally within the congressional district in which they reside. The Advocacy Captains also work with HR Advocates in their respective congressional districts to coordinate outreach and educational efforts to their Members of Congress.

Today’s Members of Congress are constantly bombarded with information on a wide range of subjects, all of which are important and complex. Issues like immigration reform, taxes and health care come up on a regular basis. To keep HR’s perspective on the forefront of our elected officials’ minds throughout the year, the HR profession needs to go that extra mile. This means communicating with lawmakers and their respective staffs more than once a year, in-person while they’re home during a congressional recess and at other appropriate times. That’s why the A-Team initiative is so important!

Since its inception in 2010, the A-Team has been rolled out in a series of 10 target states each year. To date, over 200 Advocacy Captains have been appointed and over 30,000 SHRM members have volunteered to join the team as HR Advocates, expressing an interest in communicating with their respective lawmakers on HR-related legislative proposals. SHRM’s Government Affairs staff also has been conducting in-person and online training sessions for each A-Team target state, educating SHRM members about how to establish and build relationships with legislators, while also sharing SHRM’s position on workplace legislation that would directly impact the HR profession.

Continuing the effort in 2014, the 10 target states include Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and California. The state of California, because of its size and the fact that it is comprised of 53 federal congressional districts, has been a target state in each year of the initiative. Moving full speed ahead in 2014, A-Team presentations and recruitment efforts for advocacy leaders are well underway. To date, presentations have been scheduled in all 10 target states and volunteers to serve as Advocacy Captains and HR Advocates continue to pour in. Given the amount of excitement and interest in joining the A-Team, it is clear that HR professionals recognize the need and importance of engagement in public policy and advocacy.

For more information about the A-Team, please click HERE. To sign-up for the A-Team, please click HERE.

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