ISSA Government Affairs: Actively Advocating and Advancing CleanBy John Nothdurft | February 26, 2021 << Back to Articles
Since 2019, ISSA has been busy building and strengthening our Government Affairs efforts with the goal of creating a legislative and regulatory environment that allows the worldwide cleaning industry to thrive.
In 2020, the impact of government—at the federal, state, and local levels—on the cleaning industry became increasing apparent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Questions such as “am I essential?” and “where can I purchase personal protective equipment?” became commonplace as I spoke with businesses.
As the spotlight on the cleaning industry increased during the pandemic so has the visibility and interest from policymakers and regulators. The voice of the cleaning industry is now actively being sought and listened to by Congress, governors, regulators, and even the White House. The strength of the industry’s voice, with these key audiences, has never been stronger.
In addition to ISSA’s direct lobbying efforts it has been our members who have helped drive home the important story about the industry and the value of clean. This engagement is critical in helping to win key legislative and regulatory battles on behalf of your business and the cleaning industry.
Even though ISSA’s grassroots advocacy program is barely a year old, more than 2,200 people, contacted 3,130 elected officials, more than 16,250 times through ISSA’s Action Center.
Two of ISSA’s main legislative priorities since COVID-19 hit have been making sure the industry was deemed “essential” by governments and advocating for passage of a healthy and safe workplace tax credit.
In March 2020, ISSA launched its “Cleaning IS Essential” advocacy campaign urging federal, state, and local governments to designate the cleaning industry as “essential.” As a result, nearly all state stay-at-home orders designated the entire cleaning industry supply chain as essential. We are now using this designation to try and ensure the industries front-line workers have prioritized access to COVID-19 vaccinations
ISSA also launched coalition of more than 50 trade associations in support of a “reopening safely” tax credit to help businesses and nonprofits offset cleaning and workplace safety-related costs to protect the health and safety of workers, customers, and the public. Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. According to a National Safety Council survey, employers have spent US$5,208 per employee on various workplace safety practices since the pandemic began. ISSA will soon be releasing a video ad, infographic, and alerts to bring more attention to the issue and activate grassroots support for the proposal.
Some of the other top policy issues going into 2021 for ISSA’s Government Affairs Department will be to influence federal and state cleaning standards, tariff relief, vaccine prioritization, and limited liability protections.
Our successes would not have been possible without the engagement of ISSA members. From connecting us to key members of Congress, to contacting elected officials, to contributing to the new ISSA Advocacy Fund, our members and advocates support of these efforts has been critical.
One of the best ways to learn more and engage in ISSA’s advocacy efforts is to attend our upcoming virtual Clean Advocacy Summit on March 30-31 as part of National Cleaning Week. Especially designed for the industry, the Summit represents a unique opportunity for the industry to be involved with and influence the legislative and regulatory process.
Here are five reasons why you should attend the Clean Advocacy Summit!
- You get to meet with your congressional offices.
- Policy briefings on the top issues facing the industry.
- Legislative and regulatory overview of cleaning and hygiene-related products
- Get the inside scoop about what is going on in Congress.
- Because YOU are the face of the cleaning industry.
For more on the Clean Advocacy Summit, tune into the below video
About the Author.
John Nothdurft is the Director of Government Affairs for ISSA. He can be reached at [email protected].