How to Host Your Own “Capitol Day”

Amy Drumm

By: Amy Drumm, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs

MRA’s second annual Capitol Day is fast approaching, Wednesday, April 24, and we’re excited to build on last year’s event with more retailers meeting with key legislators.

Capitol Day participants will meet in small groups directly with legislators to tell their story. Participants will be invited to share information about their business, challenges and frustrations, and what it’s like being a retailer in 2024. Each group will meet with several legislative offices and be accompanied by an experienced guide. After meetings conclude, everyone is invited to attend MRA’s legislative reception. 

Can’t come to Lansing on April 24? Invite Lansing to come to you. 

Attend local office/coffee hours

Most lawmakers host local office hours or coffee hours to connect directly with residents. Find out who your elected officials are (use the QR codes below or visit our website), get on their email and/or mailing list, and pay attention to when they’ll be in your area. Be sure to look up both the elected officials who represent your home and each business location, as they may be different. 

Invite legislators to visit your store

Better yet, reach out and invite them to visit your store or business so you can show, not just tell them, about the important role you play in the community. Seeing is believing and it will help them feel the excitement (and sometimes frustration) you have as a business owner. Employees will also have an opportunity to meet their officials and share their perspective and experience working in retail.

And while you’re on a roll, why stop with your state legislators? Invite your federal representative in Congress and your local county/city/township officials to stop by as well. Politics is about building relationships and knowing who to call – both when you have a problem and need help, and also for lawmakers to know where to find feedback as they consider policy changes. 

MRA speaks on behalf of the industry as a whole and keeps an eye on things when you can’t be there yourself, but only you can speak up for your business and share your personal story. I promise, it’s one they’ll want to hear and it’s worth telling.