News from the Top

IDA Advocacy: Be a Force for Your Downtown


Since we became co-chairs of IDA’s US Government Relations Committee last year, we’ve been blown away by how many downtown leaders have shared with us their excitement about IDA’s increased advocacy efforts.

Whether it was taking part in advocacy sessions at the IDA Conference, contacting their elected representatives to urge support for IDA’s issues, or coming to DC for IDA’s first-ever Capitol Hill fly-in, place management professionals are stepping up to speak out for downtowns.

Not that there’s anything the least bit surprising about that: championing vibrant spaces is what we do; it’s in our DNA. Taking our advocacy from city hall to the halls of the U.S. Congress is a natural and logical progression. Despite the noise and chaos coming from Washington these days, downtowns have a lot at stake in the discussions before Congress and the White House.

And if lawmakers are going to make laws that affect the places we manage, shouldn’t we be at the table?

Yes, getting involved in government advocacy can seem daunting at first: What are the major issues that your downtown is facing? Who are our natural allies (and opponents)? And how do you push the right levers to achieve policy success?

The good news is that you are not alone. IDA is, after all, a powerful network of place management professionals who possess a wealth of experience and tools and a commitment to sharing them for the betterment of all downtowns. Whether you’re in a reddish state (like Zack) or a blueish one (like Jason), the fundamentals of being a great advocate are the same.

So how do you begin?

Here’s step one: We are excited to announce the formation of IDA’s new US Advocacy Network. This is where you can hear about the latest policy and political developments that affect you. Where you can learn what makes for an effective advocate at the local, state and national levels. And where you multiply your impact by joining with downtown leaders from across the country working in tandem to advance good policy.

We invite you to learn more about the Network and sign up here

Step two: Join us in Washington, DC, April 9-10 for the second annual IDA Capitol Hill Fly-In. We will give you all the tools, training and resources you need to meet with your House and Senate representatives and push IDA’s pro-downtown agenda forward. (We’ll even schedule your meetings for you.)

Last year, more than 30 IDA members came to DC to participate in our first Fly-In. Let’s keep the momentum going and show Congress that downtowns are a powerful and credible force.

When more place management leaders advocate, the strength and range of our voice grows exponentially. Now is not the time to sit on the sidelines. Let’s make a difference for downtowns.