What Our Members Do
America’s Edge members educate their policy-makers about how businesses and the economy can be strengthened through proven and promising investments in children and youth. Described below are some of the effective activities you and your fellow America’s Edge members can take to ensure your efforts make a difference.
“[H]igh-quality early childhood programs are vital for our individual and statewide future economic security. It’s time for more Maine businesses to weigh in and help our elected officials make early childhood investments a higher priority.”
–John Peters, President, Downeast Energy and Building Supply, Brunswick, ME
Meetings with Policy-Makers
America’s Edge can assist you in setting up a meeting with a Member of Congress and/or state legislator. Meetings are an ideal chance to cultivate relationships that will help bring proven investments for businesses, the economy and children to your community. America’s Edge can assist you in not only in setting up the meeting, but also in planning the content of the meeting based on the research, your personal experiences, timely legislative priorities, and the role of your policy-maker. Through the relationships established with your Members of Congress or state legislators, you may continue to keep in touch throughout the year and provide him or her with resources and information and raise new issues.
America’s Edge members hold press events at key times throughout the year to draw support and attention to legislation important to business leaders and your community. As a member, you may be offered an opportunity to participate in such an event to discuss the importance of investments in children that will strengthen local business and the economy. America’s Edge will assist in alerting the media in your community about the event and assist you with talking points prior to the event. This is an opportunity for you to be highlighted in your community as a leader and corporate friend.
Letters and Op-Eds
America’s Edge may also assist you in reaching out to the media – and thus your policy-makers – through an opinion editorial or letter-to-the-editor to your local newspaper. Such letters are powerful tools to bring public awareness to important issues and garner attention and support from your Members of Congress and state legislators. We can draft such a document for you, tailor it to your own experiences and assist you in its submission to your local paper.
At times, the most effective way to reach your policy-maker(s) will be through sign-on letters coinciding with a legislative issue of importance. The sign-on letter will ask the Member of Congress or state legislator to take a specific action benefiting businesses, the economy and your communities, and you can become involved by simply adding your signature along with those of your peers. America’s Edge will obtain your approval before adding your name to every letter.
At times, legislative committees hold hearings on important legislation that will directly impact businesses and the development and education of children – your future employees. When such hearings occur, you may be offered an opportunity to testify. By testifying at a legislative hearing, you can inform and influence not only your own Member of Congress or state legislators, but also other policy-makers who will be making important decisions that will affect your community. America’s Edge will assist in drafting your testimony and ensuring that you are prepared for the hearing.