Engaged Electorate is Key to Pro-jobs Environment

September 13, 2019 | The state of manufacturing Nicole Crain, Senior Vice President, Public Policy, ncrain@iowaabi.org

This edition of Business Record Iowa comes on the heels of the ABI Board of Directors meeting held on September 11. The meeting was the first for new board members, but the last step in the ABI policy development process. The board has the responsibility to approve the 2020 policy positions and priorities for the association. This year, when you include all members of the ABI Board of Directors, more than 300 people participated at some stage in the process. This number reflects strong participation by the ABI membership and includes a cross-section of members from every industry.

When we look back at the ABI policies and priorities from recent years, the main goal has been workforce. Whether its public-private partnerships, new initiatives or state funding to help young and adult students get the training they need to be qualified for the jobs of tomorrow, ABI has been at the front of those efforts. ABI is also on the front lines when legislative and regulatory proposals threaten certainty and stability for employers and employees. We spend a lot of time educating legislators and regulators about the impact of certain proposals. And, thanks to the support and expertise of members, we have had success.

One key piece to a pro-jobs environment is an engaged electorate. Although Iowa has some of the highest rates of voter participation in the country, we can do even better, especially in years where there isn’t a national candidate on the ballot. To vote, you need to be registered. This year, as in past years, ABI is participating in Employee Voter Registration Week. The goal is to increase the number of registered eligible private sector voters across the country. The initiative does not tell em- ployees how to vote or who to vote for; instead it provides information to help employers encourage voter registration. In a 2018 BIPAC survey, 96% of employee respondents from a company with a sustained engagement program voted early or on Election Day.

I hope you will encourage your employees to get registered to vote or update their voter registration the week of September 23-27. Employee Voter Registration Week 2019 is right around the corner. If you don’t have something planned yet, it’s not too late. You can find all kinds of information online at www.employeesvote.com. Please contact me if you want to learn more. With more employers participating, we can ensure more individuals are voting in the elections, whether it’s for school board or U.S. President!