Day on the Hill, May 21-22, 2018
The National Association of Blind Merchants (NABM) and the National Federation of the Blind Entrepreneurs Initiative (NFBEI) will be holding a Day on the Hill on May 21-22, 2018. Please make arrangements to join us in Washington, D.C. so we can let our voices be heard and collectively protect the priority.
A bill has been introduced that will allow commercialization of interstate rest areas and the President is promoting an infrastructure bill that will most assuredly include the option for states to commercialize their rest areas through public-private partnerships. If this becomes the law of the land, almost 400 blind entrepreneurs who operate vending at these rest areas could be displaced almost instantly. Add to that the fact that several programs who rely on funding from third party vendors would face financial ruin. We have to continue our fight to prevent DOD from promulgating the proposed troop dining rules and educate the Armed Services Committee in an effort to thwart any attempt by AbilityOne to get language added to the NDAA this year that would further weaken our priority for troop dining. We must continue to put political pressure on the VA to comply with the law. Now, our federal partner at the Rehabilitation Services Administration is imposing burdensome requirements on states that will require federal approval of all purchases of over $5,000. This will slow down purchasing to a crawl and dramatically impact vendors ability to make a living. We continue to get threats from the American Heart Association who want to mandate only healthier options to be sold in our vending machines.
This year, we will kick things off with some extensive training on Monday afternoon, May 21st. John Pare and Gabe Casarez from the National Federation of the Blind’s Baltimore Office will lead the training and it will focus on how to be an effective advocate on The Hill and in your everyday lives.
To register to attend the Fly-In, go to www.blindmerchants.org . Complete the registration form and submit. We will make appointments for you with your members of Congress on Tuesday, May 22nd.
The host hotel will be the Marriott Keybridge Hotel, 1401 Lee Highway, Arlington, Virginia, 22209. BOOK YOUR HOTEL HERE> . You may also call 703-524-6400 and ask for he NABM Fly In ate which is $199.00. We have a block of rooms for the nights of May 20, 21, and 22.
The Randolph-Sheppard Program is under attack. Help us defend it. Register now!
The National Federation of the Blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future. Every day we raise the expectations of blind people, because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.