Building  Owners  and  Managers  Association  International

Building Owners and Managers Association International

First-Ever Mini Congressional Fly-In a Success

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On March 8, BOMA members from across the United States traveled to Washington, D.C., for BOMA International’s first-ever mini congressional “fly-in” to advocate on behalf of the commercial real estate industry.  Traditionally, BOMA hosts its biennial advocacy event, the National Issues Conference, on even-numbered years in conjunction with the Winter Business Meeting.  However, the rapidly changing landscape of Washington—so many new legislators on Capitol Hill after a hard-fought campaign season and a new era of single-party governance that can encourage quick-moving legislation—prompted the addition of this new event.

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BOMA International’s advocacy staff began the fly-in with a breakfast briefing that provided attendees with in-depth background information on three key policy issues: ADA lawsuit reform, energy efficiency and comprehensive tax reform.  Additional information about each of these three issues can be found on the 2017 Legislative Priorities webpage.

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From there, delegations from various BOMA local associations made the trek to Capitol Hill to meet with the offices of both long-time elected officials and freshman lawmakers.  In addition to sharing talking points related to the three legislative priorities identified by BOMA International, BOMA members also provided real-life examples of how these policies have affected them and discussed matters unique to their individual markets and states.

BOMA/Suburban Chicago provided newly elected Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi with a specific instance of how an LED retrofit in an office building in his district affected the heat load of the property—and how energy efficiency tax incentives could help the building address this resulting issue.  BOMA/Metropolitan Detroit shared its concerns about infrastructure maintenance, including its impact on drinking water, with Representative Debbie Dingell’s office.  And, BOMA/Nashville explained to Representative Jim Cooper’s staff how certain tax provisions could keep Nashville’s impressive development booming—and how others could turn the city’s real estate into vacant tax shelters.  Other BOMA local associations in attendance—BOMA/Baltimore, BOMA/Georgia, BOMA/Metropolitan Washington (AOBA), BOMA/Omaha, BOMA/Pittsburgh, BOMA/San Diego, BOMA/Utah—each had their own stories to share with legislators and their staffs.

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The day ended with a post-lobbying lunch, during which attendees described their experiences on Capitol Hill and gave insights into how lawmakers reacted to the various policy issues discussed.  All agreed on the importance of having face-to-face interactions with elected officials to keep issues crucial to commercial real estate on their radars and provide anecdotal context for policy requests.  BOMA International advocacy staff also encouraged BOMA members to continue the conversations they started with their legislators during the fly-in once they went back home.

View more pictures from the fly-in here.