The following article appeared in the June Edition of RV News Magazine.
The scene on Capitol Hill before 2020 is much different than the one experienced during the past 15 months. The loud click of high heels echoed repeatedly off the marble floors. Men decked in custom-made suits raced past one another, already two minutes late to the next 15-minute meeting. The conversational din filled the air to reach expansively high ceilings, growing to a muffled roar at the most crowded periods.
Groups moving to meet with interns, staff and congressional members were easily identified. They might wear matching-colored shirts, neatly pressed uniforms or coordinated accessories such as buttons or hats.
The hustle and bustle were replaced by silence. Offices were closed or limited, visitors were barred or kept at a distance. Handshakes and backslaps all but faded away.
The first full week of June was supposed to be RVs Move America Week, bringing industry representatives from around the country to Washington. Committee meetings and congressional gatherings were again canceled in 2021 because of pandemic and security concerns.
RV Industry Association government affairs staff and industry leaders are coping without face-to-face interaction to bolster support for the top daily and monthly industry issues. Industry leaders say they adapted by maintaining virtual contact, leveraging supporters and updating digital outreach.
“While it feels a little different and looks a little different, it is the same thing,” said Samantha Rocci, RV Industry Association senior manager of government affairs. “Rather than me walking a couple of blocks to the Capitol buildings, I am sitting here on Zoom calls. We have had to get a little creative introducing ourselves to new offices.”
Read the rest of the article in RV News.