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Congressional Action Days: Schedule of Events




7:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Charlie Cook speaker at SAF Congressional Action Days March 11-12, 2013Kick-Off Breakfast

Speaker: Charlie Cook,The Cook Political Report and The National Journal

When Charlie Cook makes a pronouncement based on his analysis of the political scene in America, people who want to be “in the know” sit up and listen. For more than two decades he has been Washington’s most trusted – and most accurate – voice on all things political, whether it’s the outcome of a Congressional, gubernatorial, or presidential election. As the editor and publisher of The Cook Political Report and a political analyst for the National Journal Group and NBC News, his prodigious writing is a direct line to the heart of politics. He writes weekly for National Journal magazine and National Journal Daily, and he also pens a regular column for The Washington Quarterly. Once deemed “the Picasso of election analysis” by The Wall Street Journal, Cook produces the sharpest political handicapping in the business, serving as the one-man, go-to-source for Americans who want to be truly informed.

9:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Issues Briefing

Speakers: Lin Schmale and Corey Connors, SAF

SAF lobbyists Lin Schmale and Corey Connors review talking points on the issues you'll be taking to your Capitol Hill appointments and show you how to put them into personal perspective. Don't worry about being an issues expert, though. You'll have great handouts to leave behind. What you'll really be there to do is talk about what you know best — your business — and help legislators understand what it's like there every day, the number of people you employ and the ways you support your community.. 

12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m.

After the Issues Briefing, spend time with your state or regional delegation during lunch and map out strategies for tomorrow's legislative appointments.

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

NEW Visit to Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery is both the most hallowed burial ground of our Nation's fallen and one of the most visited tourist sites in the Washington, DC, area. A fully operational national cemetery since May 1864, the rolling green hills are dotted with trees (some that are older than the cemetery itself), monuments and gardens. This impressive landscape serves as a tribute to the service and sacrifice of every individual and their families laid to rest within the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery. The burial plot of President John F. Kennedy and family remains the most visited site at Arlington National Cemetery — more than 37 years after his assassination. Tomb of the Unknowns - Arlington National CemeteryOther memorial sites include the Tomb of the Unknowns; Challenger Space Shuttle Memorial; Mast of the U.S.S. Maine ("Remember the Maine!"); Confederate Memorial; and the Coast Guard Memorial. Civilian notables buried in the cemetery include boxing champ Joe Louis; actor Lee Marvin; WWII's most decorated soldier Audie Murphy; ABC newscaster Frank Reynolds; and 27th president William Howard Taft. The grounds also include the Robert E. Lee memorial (formerly the Custis-Lee Mansion).

6:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
First Timers' Reception

Get to know fellow first-time attendees and chat with members of SAF's Government Relations Committee about what to expect during your appointments tomorrow.

6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.


Kelly O'Donnell Speaker at the SAFPAC dinner during SAF Congressional Action DaysSAFPAC Reception & Dinner*

Speaker: Kelly O'Donnell, NBC News

Kelly O'Donnell is the Capitol Hill Correspondent for NBC News. She contributes to NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, TODAY, and MSNBC, and appears as a panelist on Meet the Press and The Chris Matthews Show. She has anchored NBC News broadcasts and produced long form pieces for Dateline. A veteran of presidential politics, O'Donnell covered the Inauguration of President Barack Obama and the 2008 presidential campaign traveling with John McCain and Sarah Palin. She served as White House Correspondent during the second term of President George W. Bush. From the Rose Garden to Baghdad, the Olympic Games to Capitol Hill, the scope of O'Donnell's assignments is uncommon, and her reports have taken her to all 50 states and 48 countries. Kelly O'Donnell speaks with insight and ease about life spent in the trenches, in the courtroom, and in the political "war room." Not only is she in the public eye, she is the public's eye.

* Individuals who have contributed $150 or more to the SAF Political Action Committee are invited to the SAFPAC Dinner. For more information about SAFPAC contact Brian Gamberini, bgamberini@safnow.org.


7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

stephanie vanceGrassroots Breakfast

Speaker: Stephanie Vance, Advocacy Associates, LLC

Contrary to popular opinion, government ISN'T broken. You just need to know how to work the system, says advocacy "guru" Stephanie Vance. Get revved up and ready for an exciting, inspiring day on Capitol Hill as Washington's most energizing trainer of citizen lobbyists shares tips and tactics (like the four best ways to get legislators to agree with you) and powerful motivation to succeed. Vance is author of several books on lobbying including Government by the People: How to Communicate with Congress, Citizens in Action and the recently released Advocacy Manual: A Practitioner’s Guide. She has more than 20 years of experience in Congressional affairs. She has listened to lobbyists as a congressional staff member and represented organizations as a professional lobbyist. Her work on congressional communications stems from a deep and abiding belief that government is effective only when citizens are active participants.

Congressional Appointments

This is your chance to make history! Walk the halls of Congress with other members of your delegation to visit your legislators and tell your story. Nervous? Don't be. SAF provides you with talking points and handouts and will make sure first-timers are partnered with a CAD veteran or SAF staff member as they make their rounds.

Gold Club Luncheon*

Speaker:  Barry Lynn, New America Foundation

Encouraging entrepreneurism isn’t just about job creation, believes Barry Lynn; there’s also a moral imperative to preserve the independence of our communities and our individual liberties as citizens. Lynn is director of the Markets, Enterprise, and Resiliency Initiative, and a senior fellow at the New America Foundation. His writings on the political and economic effects of extreme consolidation of market power, and his groundbreaking work on industrial interdependence among nations, have drawn attention from governments around the world. Lynn joins members of the SAFPAC Gold Club to talk about the changing role of entrepreneurs in America today.

(*for SAFPAC Gold Club Members)

10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

11:30 a.m. 1:30 p.m.
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Hortica logo
Capitol Hill Club Hospitality Suite

Sponsored by Hortica Insurance and Employee Benefits

In between appointments, stop by the Capitol Hill Club Hospitality Suite to catch up, grab a snack, file a report and check-in with fellow attendees.  

5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Day's End Reception

Crystal Gateway Marriott

Share your experiences and hear stories from other delegates at this relaxing wrap up to a busy day on Capitol Hill.