[vendtalk] FW: BEA Fly In Alert

Kevan Worley kevanworley at blindmerchants.org
Tue Apr 28 15:48:39 UTC 2009


From: Terry Smith [mailto:Terry.Smith at tn.gov] 
Sent: Monday, April 27, 2009 2:06 PM
To: mbrunson at acb.org; Allen Tharp; Eugene Breaud; 'John Jones';
rkvend at aol.com; AB Swanson; Don Hudson; Robert Humphreys; Charles Glazer;
Donald Johnson; 'Ernie Sledge'; Michael Lee; Joe Blackstone;
kevanworley at blindmerchants.org; Shelly Martin; Harry Eberle; Jody Shaw;
Robert Ott; Ron Oxley; Raymond E. Hopkins; vdesantis at dhs.state.nj.us; Jim Ed
Rice; 'Bill Spencer'; Allen Harris; 'Roland Marshall'; 'Harvey Johnson';
Skipp Styron; Virgil; kim m venable; Catriona Macdonald; Patrick Cannon; Sue
Luzenski; Nick Gacos; J McCarthy; John Pare, Jr.; Anna DeSantis; Mark
Harris; cantuserv at sbcglogal.net; fredric schroeder; Mike Barclay; Peter
Nolan; Arch Kielly; Dennis Donnelly
Cc: swhalen at linchpinstrategies.com; bep_state_directors at ncsab.org
Subject: BEA Fly In Alert


Dear BEA Members:


We will be discussing the May BEA Fly In on our call this Friday but I
wanted to get some information out before then.  I am very concerned about
the number of blind entrepreneurs who plan to participate in this event.
Few have reserved hotel rooms and only a hand full have contacted Sean
Whalen in Catriona's office about setting up meetings with their members of
Congress.  This is very concerning on two fronts.  


First, we need to show Congress how important Randolph Sheppard is to the
blind community.  If we only have a dozen blind entrepreneurs participate,
it will send the wrong message to Congress.  The White House is aware of the
fly in and will be observing.  We don't know where this Administration
stands on Randolph Sheppard or categorical services in general.  If they see
few blind entrepreneurs on The Hill those two days, it could signal a lack
of support for the program.  We need 100+ blind entrepreneurs on The Hill
those two days and it starts with you.  


Secondly, the BEA as an organization has committed to a block of rooms at
the hotel.  If we do not meet our room commitment, we stand to lose
thousands of dollars which is money we cannot afford.  We realize that the
room costs are high but all rooms in the D.C. area are expensive.  Catriona
and her staff are still working with the hotel to get a better rate but we
are not optimistic.  We understand some of you are planning on coming but
staying elsewhere.  We can appreciate the logic for doing that but here
again it creates a real problem for the BEA which is committed to rooms at
the Washington Court Hotel.  Plus, it is helpful from a communication
standpoint that everyone be at the same hotel.  Call the Washington Court
Hotel today to make your hotel reservation.  The hotel is located right at
Capitol Hill at 525 New Jersey Avenue, NW and the telephone number is
202-628-2100.  Let's try to have at least 40 rooms booked by the Friday when
we have our call.  


It is also imperative that you let Sean Whalen in Catriona's office know
that you are coming.  He can set up meetings with your members of Congress
for you.  Even if you are setting up your own meetings which some of you may
be doing, Sean needs to know that you will be there.  There will be two
luncheons and we need an accurate count of attendees to ensure there is
enough food for everyone.  


I have heard some say they weren't sure about the schedule of events.  The
schedule is as follows:


Wednesday, May 20th -- Entrepreneurs arrive in Washington, DC.  Room block
has been reserved at the Washington Court Hotel on New Jersey Avenue, two
blocks from the Capitol Building.


Thursday, May 21st, 


8:30 AM - 11:00 AM - Training, update on Randolph-Sheppard policy and
legislation, review of talking points, distribution of materials to be
handed out at meetings


11:00 AM - Move to Capitol Hill for Senate briefing


11:30 AM - 1:00 PM - Senate staff luncheon briefing


1:15 PM - 5:00 PM  -  Meetings with Congressional delegations and
Administration officials, scheduled by the BEA


Friday, May 22nd


8:30 AM - BEA check-in at hotel; move to Capitol Hill


9:00 AM - 11:00 AM - Meetings with Congressional delegations and
Administration officials scheduled by the BEA


11:30 AM - 1:00 PM - House staff luncheon briefing


1:15 PM - 3:00 PM - Meetings with Congressional delegations and
Administration officials scheduled by the BEA


3:30 PM - Depart Capitol Hill.


I cannot over emphasize the importance of this Fly In.  We are picking up
some disturbing signals out of D.C. and we need to be pro-active if we want
to preserve the Randolph Sheppard Program as we know it.  Make plans now to
be there and be a part of history - the first ever Randolph Sheppard Day on
the Hill.  





Terry C. Smith, Facilitator


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