The following article by Chris Burgoyne, vice president of government and political affairs at AHLA, first appeared in LODGING‘s October 2020 issue.
Between now and November 3, voters across the country will cast their ballots for president, 11 governors, 35 U.S. senators, and all 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. This election will be unlike any other in our lifetime, coming almost eight months into the worst crisis our industry has ever faced and when the balance of power in Washington up for grabs.
During this time, it’s crucial that all hoteliers get involved and take concrete steps to learn and understand a candidate’s positions on issues important to our industry. We need our votes to count for the hotel industry.
As we all know, hotels are a cornerstone of our communities and a major economic driver. Prior to the pandemic, we proudly supported 8.3 million jobs and generated more than $170 billion in federal, state, and local taxes. Today, thousands of hotels are struggling to keep their doors open, and millions of industry-supported jobs are in danger of disappearing forever. Never has it been more important that our industry remained unified and engaged in the political arena. The legislative and regulatory issues we face are directly affected by the candidates we elect to represent us.
Your ongoing involvement has been critical on Capitol Hill and with the current administration in conveying the devastation our industry has faced due to COVID-19, and the urgent need for support to survive the crisis. With your support, AHLA secured key provisions in the Paycheck Protection Program to help hoteliers and their employees early in the crisis, and we continue to advocate for legislation that will give you access to liquidity and help you keep your doors open.
Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, Congress has been in a stalemate and has failed to pass additional federal stimulus to help severely impacted industries such as ours. With 67 percent of hoteliers saying they will not make it another six months without additional federal support, we remain hopeful that Congress can find a bipartisan solution.
The November elections will determine the final makeup of our government—and their legislative priorities—for the next two years and beyond. Your involvement, and, most importantly, your vote, can make a difference.
AHLA is committed to supporting candidates who champion the hotel industry. Visit www.ahla.com/hotelsact to join our grassroots network and easily connect to your lawmakers.
The stakes are high. This election season, townhall meetings are being replaced with telephone townhalls and video conferences, but it is more important than ever that you make your voice heard, especially in the voting booth this November.