This week, ABA announced that, at its first-ever Legislative Day', Dawn P. Latham, CAE, director of public policy, for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), will be on hand to provide attendees with an update on the current status of Association Health Plan (AHP) legislation in Congress. "'Small business health plans is such a critical issue," Latham said. "I look forward to meeting the members of ABA to discuss this important legislation."
Legislative Day will be held on Wednesday, May 17, at the Doubletree Crystal City and on Capitol Hill, and was created as a way to brief booksellers about current public policy issues affecting the book industry and to provide them with the opportunity to meet with their senators and representatives. This year's BookExpo America trade show and ABA educational programming will be held from Thursday, May 18, to Sunday, May 21, at the Washington Convention Center.
Latham will be one of the speakers for the "2006 Retail Issues in the Congress and the Administration," the first of three half-hour "Legislative Briefings," from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. As the director of public policy at ASAE, Latham keeps apprised of legislative, regulatory, and judicial activities impacting the association community. She also serves as the senior staff liaison to the Legal and Government Relations Sections, as well as the staff liaison to the Public Policy Committee and the Greater Washington Public Policy Committee.
The briefing will also include updates on the fight for sales tax equity; literacy initiatives; sales tax holidays; credit and debit card interchange fees; and Americans With Disabilities Act guidelines.
The Legislative Day program begins at noon with brief comments by ABA President Mitchell Kaplan of Miami's Books & Books, who will be followed by Robert Barnett, senior partner at Williams & Connolly LLP, whose diverse practice encompasses matters of particular interest to the book community. Barnett is one of the premier authors' representatives in the world, and his list of clients includes Bill Clinton, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bob Woodward, James Patterson, Tim Russert, Barack Obama, George Will, Art Buchwald, James Carville, Mary Matalin, Howard Dean, Cokie Roberts, among a host of other luminaries.
"2006 Retail Issues in the Congress and the Administration" will be followed at 2:00 p.m. by the session "First Amendment/Free Expression Issues," featuring John B. Morris, Jr. of the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) in Washington, D.C., and Christopher Finan, president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE).
At 2:30 p.m. will be "The Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy," featuring Thomas M. Sullivan, the U.S. Small Business Administration's chief counsel for advocacy. Nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Sullivan is charged with independently advancing the views, concerns, and interests of small business before Congress, the White House, federal regulatory bodies, and state policy makers.
The day will culminate with visits to Congressional Offices from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., followed by a Congressional Reception honoring First Amendment champion Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Booksellers who would like to participate must RSVP to ABA by May 1, in order for the association to set up appointments with congressional members and appropriate legislative staff, as well as to properly prepare for lunch. To RSVP, contact Margaret Petrie at (800) 637-0037, ext. 6614 or via e-mail at email@example.com. (Please put "Legislative Day" in the subject line of the e-mail.)
Additional information about Legislative Day, BookExpo America, and ABA's educational programming and special events is available at www.bookweb.org/aba/convention/.