In this election year, while the pandemic rages, the political landscape also seems to be afire. Nary a day or hour goes by when some headline screams for our attention, perhaps dividing us.
It’s important to remember that food unites us. Whether you are left or right, food is a universal thing we can all agree on. We must eat to live, and, to live well, we must eat well.
If you believe organic agriculture and organic food is good for you, people and the planet, it may be time to see food as a political act and get involved.
One way to get involved is by supporting a Political Action Campaign (PAC), which can make a bigger impact on the issues you care about, such as food.
What is a PAC?
A PAC is an organization that’s purpose is to raise and distribute campaign funds to candidates seeking political office.
PACs are usually formed by corporations, labor unions, trade associations, or other organizations or individuals. They channel the voluntary contributions they raise to candidates for elective offices in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
With the funds it raises, a PAC is allowed to make contributions to candidates for federal office of up to $5,000 per election. PACs are able to interact with candidates by hosting and attending fundraising events. Such events are often casual gatherings, which provide a venue for open conversation.
Did you know there is an Organic PAC?
In 2011 The Organic Trade Association (OTA) Board authorized the establishment of an affiliated PAC as part of OTA’s commitment to increasing the effectiveness of the association’s U.S. government relations program.
The OTA Organic PAC is closely integrated with OTA’s government relations work and provides another way for the OTA to engage with policymakers and advance the organic industry’s interests. The OTA Organic PAC supports candidates who share common beliefs about organic food and farming.
In essence, the Organic PAC allows OTA members to support—with financial and other resources—the election of officials aligned with their goals on food and farming.
The OTA Organic PAC helps OTA to:
- Recognize the efforts of key organic champions in Congress.
- Support incumbent members of Congress and/or candidates who are or who can be influential in protecting or promoting organic agriculture and trade in new legislation.
- Cultivate and maintain important relationships between candidates and organic producers and traders in areas where organic has a significant footprint or cluster of organic businesses.
- Develop new relationships on both sides of the aisle. Bipartisan support is a way to educate candidates and develop new industry champions.
Want to learn more about the Organic PAC?
The Organic PAC is a transparent, legal, and federally monitored way for trade associations like OTA to engage in the political process.
OTA’s Organic PAC is the organic voice in Washington. It shows up for the organic industry and ensures that our elected leaders make organic food, fiber and farming a priority and an important part of our nation’s agriculture policy.
It’s funded by pooling voluntary contributions from employees of OTA member companies. This allows the OTA to leverage every donation into one strong fund for a very strong voice.
The Organic PAC is completely non-partisan. Instead of choosing by party, it looks at where elected leaders stand on a variety of organic issues such as Farm Bill priorities and how they vote on regulatory mandates. If they share organic as a priority perspective, they get support.
How can you be involved?
First, you must be a member of The Organic Trade Association. If you are not already a member, why aren’t you? You can find out more here.
Once you’re a member, reach out to Douglas Korb to learn more about the many ways you can help protect organic in the next Congress. It may be through inviting your elected officials to visit facilities in your district, meeting with them in D.C., serving on the Organic PAC Board, and, of course, donating to the Organic PAC.
Getting involved with OTA and the Organic PAC are ways you, as an individual, can strengthen a united organic voice in Washington, D.C.
This year it’s more important than ever.
© 2020, Melody Meyer. All rights reserved.