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FranPAC Reaches Historic $1 Million Mark–Now, Get Out to Vote

President John F. Kennedy once said, “Political action is the highest responsibility of a citizen.” International Franchise Association members clearly agree, which is why we have been able to meet the historic milestone of raising $1 million for FranPAC, the association’s political action committee, this election cycle. The rapid growth of FranPAC is a strong testament to the commitment of our members to strengthen our industry and promote our interests in the halls of government and we thank all of our FranPAC contributors for their generous donations this election cycle.

FranPAC has been able to achieve multiples of what it could in years past, and is quickly assembling the political clout necessary to be a true force on Capitol Hill. With $1 million this election cycle, FranPAC has made a real difference by supporting franchise-friendly candidates to Congress.

FranPAC Receipts per Election Cycle

As of Sept. 4, 2012

It is critical to the future of our industry to cultivate relationships with members of Congress. Those relationships ensure that we have strong congressional allies who understand our issues, as well as the role that franchising plays in the economy. Through your contributions to FranPAC, we can continue to educate members of Congress on issues that matter.

The Job is Not Done

However, our job is not done; we must continue to grow FranPAC and get out to vote this November to more effectively shape the influence of franchising on Capitol Hill and ensure that pro-business members of Congress continue to be elected.

This exciting election season is taking place during a time of uncertain economic recovery as small businesses are failing in record numbers and unemployment continues to be a major problem. Many would go so far as to say the American Dream is in jeopardy. The candidates we elect in November will be tasked with making many tough decisions that will affect you, your family and your business for the next two to six years. Issues such as health care, tax reform, workforce policy and even entitlement reform will be addressed and your vote decides who will be making these critical decisions.

Make the Difference

It is easy to forget that voters have the ultimate say in who represents them on the local, state and federal level. So often there are complaints about Congress; Election Day is your opportunity to vote for the person you think will make a difference. Conduct the appropriate research and decide which candidate’s values and policies align most closely with your own. Your individual vote can make the difference.

No Excuses, Vote!

There are seemingly a million excuses people make not to vote, including, “My vote doesn’t matter,”“The person I voted for didn’t get elected,” “Politicians are all the same” or “I don’t have time.”  These are not valid reasons and here’s why.

• “My vote doesn’t matter.” Your vote does matter. Representation by the people is the very cornerstone of democracy. This country’s political system can only operate successfully if you participate. A surprisingly high number of elections are decided by a very small number of votes. Everyone can remember Florida during the 2000 elections.

• “The person I voted for didn’t get elected.” This is bound to happen. Although your preference may not win, choosing not to vote is denying yourself a key tool of say in a democracy. Also, remember, this is still your elected official and you have the right to discuss your opinion with them. Meet with them in person and find common ground.

• “Politicians are all the same.” Politicians are not all the same. Conduct the research, find out their position on issues that are important to you, and get involved in the process.

• “I don’t have the time.” Many people are strapped for time and can’t stand in line at their polling spot. This is why there are absentee ballots. It does not get any easier than mailing in your vote. Visit your state’s Secretary of State website to learn more about this option.

While being bombarded by the media, it is easy to lose sight of the simple principle that the United States was built upon  a nation “ruled by the people for the people.” This is your right, your vote, your country and your future. Make sure to let your voice be heard on Nov. 6. ⎯

Erica Fitzsimmons is director of political affairs and grassroots advocacy for the International Franchise Association. She can be reached at 202-662-0760 or efitzsimmons@franchise.org.

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