The National Association of Landscape Professionals has released its first Public Affairs Score Card which tracks the status of issues that affect the industry at the local, state, and federal level and summarizes NALP advocacy efforts. The score card will be shared on a quarterly basis beginning in 2017 to 1) educate the industry about important policy issues that threaten their businesses; 2) demonstrate accountability to the association’s membership about NALP’s efforts on policy issues most important to their businesses; and 3) encourage members’ participation in the political process.
Some of the to-date wins on which NALP has worked in 2016, with state association partners, industry colleagues and business leaders include:
- Passage of legislation to block WOTUS (later vetoed by Obama)
- Inclusion of H-2B regulatory relief measures in 2017 House and Senate Labor Appropriations bills
- Inclusion of “returning worker exemption” in 2017 House Homeland Security Appropriations Bill
- Defeated Illinois legislation to ban use of neonics in residential settings
- Exempted landscape professionals from neonic ban legislation in Maryland
- Oregon signed into law measures creating modifications to the state landscape contractor license requirements making available a “License Practical Skills Examination.” NALP assisted extensively in the bills drafting
- Amended enacted legislation in Vermont to include industry representation on Pollinator Health Task Force
- Legislation to ban gas-powered leaf blowers in Brookline Massachusetts was tabled
- A proposal to limit the use of fertilizer on residential lawns in Charlestown Rhode Island was brought up for a vote, discussed and tabled following discussion
- Miami Beach City Council did not act on a proposed glyphosate ban
“The legislative, regulatory and reputational risks to the lawn and landscape industry are ever-present. Our opponents don’t grow weary in the fight and now we have a national trade association that is equally vigorous in advancing and defending the business interests of all its members through a robust government relations and public relations focus,” noted Jeff Fedorchak, vice president of corporate relations for TruGreen and co-chair of NALP’s Public Affairs Advisory Council.
NALP has been working to engage industry professionals in advocacy efforts in communities across the country and arming them with the resources and support to enable their successful voice.
“Despite the many victories we have achieved this year in our efforts to advance the interests of landscape professionals, our industry still faces many challenges,” stated Paul Mendelsohn, NALP vice president of government relations. “Accordingly, NALP continues to monitor issues at all levels of government so that we are well positioned to act when the need arises and when it does, our advocacy success will be largely influenced by our level of member engagement. Law makers need to hear how issues impact companies in their town, state, or district,” Mendelsohn emphasized, urging public policy involvement from industry professionals.
To prepare NALP members to talk with elected officials and to change the narrative about the public’s understanding of the industry, the Public Affairs Advisory Council has created fact sheets, infographics and videos to help dispel myths and set the record straight about the important role healthy lawns and landscapes play to families, communities and the environment. Materials include:
Common myths and misperceptions fact sheet
- Benefits of healthy landscapes
- Benefits of healthy lawns and landscapes infographic
- Value of healthy lawns and landscapes video
- Pollinator health and neonicotinoids fact sheet
- H-2B “Myths and Facts” fact sheet
In addition to actively working with legislators and government agencies, NALP has been promoting positive messages about the industry through the new LoveYourLandscape.org consumer website and accompanying social media outlets and through extensive media relations efforts.
To get the complete public affairs update visit www.landscapeprofessionals.org/nalp/nalp/advocacy/score-card.