NABM DAY on The HillBlind Entrepreneurs Educate Members of Congress On May 22, 2018, over 100 blind entrepreneurs got off of buses on Independence Avenue in front of the Rayburn House Office Building and following a Congressional Breakfast spread out over Capitol Hill to educate their members of Congress about the Randolph-Sheppard Program. The message was that blind entrepreneurs can own and operate successful businesses when afforded the opportunity and that the Randolph-Sheppard priority is one worth supporting.
NABM Joins Other Stakeholders in Opposing Rest Area Commercialization
The National Association of Blind Merchants has joined a coalition of stakeholders opposed to commercialization of interstate rest areas. The threat is real. A bill has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and President Trump expressed support of the concept in his proposed 2018 budget. When the President introduces his infrastructure bill later this summer or early fall, rest area commercialization is expected to be part of his plan for private / public partnerships.
The Department of Defense recently submitted to OMB proposed regulations that would implement many key provisions of the 2006 Joint Policy Statement. If approved, the regulations would be very damaging to Randolph-Sheppard and would result in fewer troop dining opportunities for blind entrepreneurs. On March 14, the NFB and NFBEI met with OMB to express concern about the proposed regulations and argue that the regs ciliate the Randolph-Sheppard Act. Parnell Diggs, Nicky Gacos, Terry Smith, and Andy Freeman participated in the meeting.