News from the Capitol: You’ve given up a lot, but giving to this cause is important

Amy Drumm, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for Michigan Retailers Association
Amy Drumm Vice President, Government Affairs

By AMY DRUMM, MRA Vice President, Government Affairs

While this is a season of giving, it’s hard to avoid thinking about how we’ve all given a lot over the past two years. Given up trips, time with family, sales goals or new store prospects, time off from work. Many of you stepped up to give back more than ever as people in your communities needed help, PPE, food, supplies, jobs, patience and our understanding.

Maybe it feels hard to keep giving when the government just seems to want to keep taking more and more. More rules, more restrictions, more changes, more taxes. As unfair as all of that can be, it’s actually exactly the reason why it’s so critical to give at least one more time this year… to MRA’s PAC and our Advocacy Fund.

MRA advocated strongly to keep retail open over the last two years and for reasonable rules and policies. But that job is more difficult when elected officials in positions of power do not understand retail. As I like to say frequently: elections have consequences.

Sometimes the result is elected officials who don’t want to take the time to understand the challenges retailers face. Who don’t want to listen to the reality and nuances of what can or cannot realistically and safely be done. If elected officials don’t want to take the time to listen and modify rules when implementation becomes too burdensome or even impossible then all we can do is wait until the next election comes around to correct that mistake.

Here’s where MRA PAC and our Advocacy Fund come in. MRA PAC supports elected officials who have a proven record of supporting retail issues. We score votes on key legislative issues and send new candidates without voting records a questionnaire to determine their position on important issues. MRA vets legislative candidates appearing on the ballot to determine who will stand up for retail when it matters. We very carefully spend the funds members trust us with to get the best outcomes for retailers.

The Advocacy Fund works in a similar way, but instead of supporting candidates’ campaigns directly, it supports existing lawmakers and their non-campaign related outreach, education and events. It also supports issue-based public awareness campaigns and legal efforts MRA chooses to engage in. The difference for MRA members is the Advocacy Fund can accept contributions directly from businesses and business accounts while MRA PAC can only accept personal contributions from individual members.

It’s a frank reality that it costs a lot of money to run for office. Even state offices like state representative or state senator can easily see candidates spend $500,000. There are 110 state reps in Michigan and 38 state senators. That adds up quickly. And even if you’re concerned about the role of money in politics, not contributing is almost like not voting: if you don’t participate, someone else will and they’ll be making decisions that impact you.

I want to leave you with some hope: there are some truly good elected officials serving today. They’re the ones who may not know your business personally but they care and want to understand the impact of various proposed rules and regulations. They’re the few who call and proactively ask what they can do to help. The ones who pick up the phone when we call and take the time to listen. The ones who stand up and take up the fight when the state is trying to shut down your business. They’re out there. And they deserve our support in return.

So, in the spirit of giving, one more time, please consider giving to either MRA PAC or MRA’s Advocacy Fund so we can keep supporting the right people and get results for retail through the important advocacy work that has literally kept retail doors open.


With a personal contribution to MRA PAC

  1. Visit
  2. Download and complete the PAC Donation Form
  3. Mail the completed form with your contribution to the address below:

With a business or corporate contribution to MRA’s Advocacy Fund

  1. Visit
  2. Download and complete the Advocacy Fund Donation Form
  3. Mail the completed form with your contribution to the address below:

Michigan Retailers Association
Attn: MRA PAC / Advocacy Fund
603 S. Washington Ave. Lansing, MI 48933