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Screaming Monkeys or Roaring Lions? Making a Difference on the Hill

Apr 30, 2014

Despite the growth of advocacy on Capitol Hill – in scope, tactics, and resources – during the last decade, little research exists to show what is effective and what is counterproductive in dealing with Congress. Are IDFA and its members seen as roaring lions that motivate legislators to move quickly in a desired direction? Or are we seen as screaming monkeys that annoy targeted lawmakers – and leave a mess behind?

Bradford Fitch, president and CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation, will explain the differences between the tactics of the counterproductive monkeys and the motivating lions at IDFA’s Washington Conference Lunch and Issues Briefing, June 25, in Washington, D.C. IDFA members will learn how to emulate effective lions during visits here in Washington and back at home.

The CMF has a unique 35-year relationship with Congress, backed by extensive research drawn from surveys, focus groups, interactions and consultations with members of Congress and their staffs. Fitch joined the CMF in 2001 as deputy director and now heads the organization.

He has gained 25 years of knowledge and experience while working in Washington as a journalist, congressional aide, consultant, college instructor, Internet entrepreneur, writer and researcher. He began his career as a radio and television reporter, then worked on Capitol Hill for 13 years in various roles. He later started a company called Knowlegis and has written or co-authored several publications on advocacy communications, including “How Capitol Hill Is Coping with the Surge in Citizen Advocacy.”

Washington Conference, the dairy industry’s annual ‘legislative fly-in,’ June 25-26, also will include a briefing on pending legislation, meetings with members of Congress and the 32nd Annual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party.

The same week, IDFA will offer Regulatory RoundUP, June 24-25, in Washington, D.C., to allow dairy professionals the opportunity to interact face-to-face with federal regulators. Sessions will help professionals better understand the intent behind federal regulations, the parameters for compliance and how best to engage in the process to shape pending regulations.

Together, Washington Conference and Regulatory RoundUP will provide three days of comprehensive policy and regulatory discussions with federal officials and legislators.

For more details about the meetings, contact Ashley Burch, IDFA assistant director of political programs, at

For questions about registration, contact Maria Velasco, IDFA meetings registrar, at or (202) 220-3524

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