A CEO Update article examines the role of advocacy in association and non-profit state government affairs programs.
Arlington, Va. — The state-level advocacy work of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and its partners was recognized in an article in a widely-read association and non-profit publication. A CEO Update article published on May 1 titled “Making change happen—or stopping it—one state at a time” examines the role of advocacy in association and non-profit state government affairs programs.
In the article, Sandra Guckian, vice president of state government affairs with NACDS, emphasized key strategies and resources necessary for an effective state government affairs program, including the importance of strong relationships with NACDS members, in-state partners and other associations to share the latest updates and work together on common goals.
“It’s very important to have folks on the ground,” Guckian stated in the piece.
Guckian stressed the importance of understanding the individuality of each state’s legislature. She also discussed that every state is different in terms of the culture and processes, citing one example as the timing for submitting congressional testimony can vary greatly from one state to another.
“It’s the nuances of how you move forward,” Guckian stated. “If you don’t know the process, you don’t know how to advance your legislation.”
Guckian also underscored the importance of utilizing technology to stay on top of the latest news and updates related to legislative activity in each state, stating “You have to have a robust and timely legislative tracking system and regulatory tracking system.”
Asked about the changes in state policy and legislative landscapes in the last few years, Guckian explained that since pharmacy is state-regulated, the association has always been highly-focused on state entities that have authority over pharmacies. The intensity of NACDS’ work in the states has not changed, Guckian articulated.
“All politics really is local when it comes to state government affairs,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE. “The collaboration of an association’s members to set policy priorities, working with in-state partners and other state stakeholders, along with a solid infrastructure are crucial when working with 50 different states and processes. This article really drills down to the fundamental components that associations need to build and deliver effective state government affairs strategies.”