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CDA Advocates for Industry in Return to Capitol Hill

Members of the trade organization spent two days lobbying and speaking directly to lawmakers in D.C.
CDA Members in front of the Capital building

WASHINGTON, D.C. Members of the Convenience Distribution Association (CDA) traveled to Washington, D.C. last week for the its annual Day on the Hill event.

Over the course of two days, members were trained on how to lobby and attended meetings with legislators and staff. It was the first in-person Day on the Hill since 2019. 

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"Building relationships with our congressmen, senators and staffers in D.C. is crucial for our industry and our members' businesses," said Kimberly Bolin, CDA president and CEO. "Day on the Hill creates an opportunity for distributor members to do that, even if they've never engaged in this way before." 

Kathee Facchiano, vice president at Van Scoyoc Associates, and Mary Ellen Richardson, chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) provided tips on effective advocacy and the importance legislators place on in-person visits from constituents. Attendees also heard from Doug Anderson, president of We Card Program Inc., on social sourcing and how distributors can help their retailers. 

This year's Day on the Hill focused on support for two bills. The SHIP It Act would increase safety and shipping capacity for truckers; provide recruitment and retention incentives for drivers; and include flexibility during emergencies or black swan events. The Death Tax Repeal Act of 2023 would permanently repeal the estate tax, eliminating the see-saw of policies that have created uncertainty from year to year. 

Rep. James Comer meeting with CDA members
Rep. James Comer (R-KY) meets with CDA attendees

"You only get to vote once every other year for people that come to Washington, but you have issues that come up every day," said CDA Chair Corey Cooper of Stephenson Wholesale Co. Inc. "Coming here allows you to build a relationship with [legislators], so you can reach out to their office and ask for their assistance at any given time."

Additionally, members expressed support for the congressional oversight investigation into unclear tobacco policies from the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), which the organization believes have lacked transparency and have resulted in market uncertainty, unregulated products and enforcement failures..

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The CDA's Day on the Hill was sponsored by Altria Group Distribution Co. and Reynolds, which helped provide dinner, breakfast and roundtable discussions. 

The CDA is a trade organization that works on behalf of convenience products distributors in the United States. Its distributor members represent more than $102 billion in convenience product sales and serve a wide variety of small retail formats. Associate members include convenience product manufacturers, brokers, retailers, suppliers and others allied to the industry.

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