The biggest event in Austin last week for TSCPA was our Advocacy Day and Midyear Board of Directors Meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday. A couple hundred TSCPA members came to town to help us carry our message to Texas legislators. And in terms our new U.S. president likes to use, our program was a “huge” success. The weather even cooperated and it was a beautiful day for CPAs to make the trek to the Capitol for personal visits with their elected representatives and senators.
At our Advocacy Day, attendees got to hear from a variety of speakers on topics ranging from what’s likely to happen in the current legislative session to how to effectively communicate and establish relationships with legislators.
Joe Gagen, an expert in political and legislative matters, gave attendees advice on the “do’s and don’ts” of conducting their Capitol visits, and helped them understand the world of elected officials.
Evan Smith of the Texas Tribune gave insight to the political process at the state and national levels. He gave his read on the unexpected victory for President Donald Trump and how that is starting to play out in Washington, D.C. He also provided insight into the major trends (demographic changes and a shift from rural to urban) that are affecting the state of Texas and how the Legislature needs to begin to focus on those issues.
Rep. Angie Chen Button, Rep. John Frullo and Senator Charles Perry, all CPAs, served on a panel moderated by former Rep. John Otto, CPA, now a TSCPA lobbyist, to discuss their take on the current legislative session and a variety of legislative topics. It was a lively session with the panelists providing very frank comments and responding to a number of questions from attendees. Rep. Button shared that earlier on Tuesday morning, she had sponsored a resolution on the House floor acknowledging TSCPA’s CPA Day at the Legislature and the important work that Texas CPAs do for the public. You can read the resolution here: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/85R/billtext/html/HR00193F.htm.
After visits to the Capitol, members who had contributed $100 or more to the CPA-PAC were invited to the annual CPA-PAC Reception where good food, drink and conversation was enjoyed by all.
All in all, it was a great meeting and we thank all of the TSCPA members who traveled to Austin to help us communicate with Texas legislators and form effective relationships with them. It’s members who are the “heart” of our grassroots program and without them, we could not effectively represent the interests of Texas CPAs. So thanks to all who help us in this effort.