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Government Affairs


Each year, volunteers from Big I Oregon, join forces in Washington DC with other BIG “I" members from across the country. We meet with national level leaders, have a national Young Agent Committee (YAC - what we call NextGen) Conference, Big I Board Meetings, Committee Meetings and most importantly we spend time talking with our elected leaders and members of their staff directly. In recent years, we have made a committed effort to take NextGen (YAC) members to DC to show them how their voice can be heard at the national level. We are able to do this through the donations of time and money by Big I Oregon Board leadership and our top tier Premier Partners, making advocacy and leadership training more accessible for our NextGen.


While the COVID-19 Pandemic brought a completely new set of realities to how we work, travel and live, it did not slow down the focus of our advocacy for our industry and the client's we serve. Rather than making our annual trips to DC, we heard from national level leadership speakers from our industry and federal government in the first & second virtual legislative conference and we held our meetings with our congressional leadership and their staff virtually in Zoom meetings.

Our 2020 lobbying sessions were focused on three primary areas:

  1. We educated our elected leaders on Business Interruption Insurance and the way it is meant to respond. We advocated for congress to avoid passing any laws that might retroactively reform insurance contract language. We believe that insurance claims should be submitted and adjudicated based on the terms of the contract but that we should also avoid providing a false hope that forcing uncovered BI claims to be covered would be a viable solution. In fact, it would quickly bankrupt our industry and threaten all insureds.
  2. We thanked congress for the CARES ACT and PPP but addressed some of the shortcomings of the execution of that attempt to support businesses. We advocated for a federal solution in alignment with the America's Recovery Fund Coalition (ARFC) to help support businesses getting back to business. We are members of the ARFC which is a joint industries coalition that represents over 45% of the pre-COVID-19 United States workforce. The Recovery Fund would not pick winners or losers and could provide needed help quickly for businesses forced to close their doors or alter operations due to COVID-19. Learn more about ARFC here.
  3. We asked our elected leaders to work with our industry to create federally backed solutions for business continuity issues caused by future pandemics.

    Here are some screen shots of our Zoom meetings with Congresswoman Bonamici and her staff and our meeting with Congressman Schrader and his staff.
Bonamici Zoom - Smiles 2.png
 Zoom with Rep Schrader 2.png







2017 National Legislative Conference
May 4, 2017, eight of us from Oregon represented the IIABO at the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America’s Annual Legislative Conference in Washington D.C.  This is a huge event and this year over 1,200 agents participated.
The goal of the Legislative Conference is to demonstrate the extensive grassroots strength of the Big “I “.  We visited the offices of each of our representatives in the House and both Senators.   
Representative Greg Walden's desk with Ed Davis, John Timm, Trish Fulwiler & Ed Fugo, Brett Slater, Steve Smelley, Mike McUne (Liberty Mutual) and Walden senior staff, Rebecca RayIMG_0499.jpg
Jim Perucca & Representative Greg Walden

Jim Perucca with Rep Greg Walden.jpg
Jim Perucca, Representative Kurt Schrader, Mike McUne (Liberty Mutual) and Ed Davis



Brett Slater, LeeAnn Smelley, Mike McUne, Steve Smelley, Ed Davis, John Timm, Trish Fulwiler & Ed Fugo with Representive Peter DeFazio senior staffers on DeFazio balconyIMG_0512.jpgBrett and Beth SlaterIMG_0500.jpgDinner at Casa Luca Friday night with Trish Fulwiler, Brett & Beth Slater, Steve & LeeAnn Smelley, Jim Perucca, Ed Davis and Ed FugoIMG_0694.jpg
Representative Greg Walden's senior staff watching the healthcare vote live with Steve Smelley, John Timm, Trish Fulwiler, Ed Fugo and LeeAnn SmelleyIMG_0487.jpgEd Davis, Beth Slater, Brett Slater, John Timm, Trish Fulwiler and Ed Fugo at the W Hotel roof top dining room.  IMG_0557.JPGRepresentative Greg Walden speaking at LargeAgent/Broker dinnerIMG_0554.jpg