It’s been over a decade since I lasted visited our nation’s capital on a family vacation. That trip was purely touristy. I remember going to the Smithsonian museums and waiting in line at the U.S. Mint. Today, I landed in Washington D.C. for a trip with more of a political bent. I’m not normally focused on politics—I vote in all of the major elections, and occasionally will have an opinion on a new or prospective law, but that’s pretty much the extent of my political activity—but for this trip, I’m here with the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) for its annual Lobby Day and Welcome to Our World events.
Lobby Day is when PBA members meet with members of the House and the Senate and/or their staffs to get the word out to Congress on the beauty industry, its contributions to our country, and our pressing issues. Tomorrow I’m on a team led by PBA PR person Brad Masterson, and we’ll be helping to inform these Congressmen and women about S.974, a bill that if passed would expand the tip tax credit to salons. In essence, if passed, the bill would make it so employers would not be responsible for paying FICA taxes on income (in this case, tips paid to their employees) that wasn’t paid by them, saving salon owners a lot of money and promoting tax fairness (the restaurant industry got this tax relief 15 years ago).
Then tomorrow evening is Welcome to Our World, which sounds like a fun event in which beauty professionals like nail techs and hairstylists offer services like manicures and haircuts to members of Congress. This also helps build our relationship and our presence here in Washington.
I’m a bit intimidated for tomorrow, but I think that may make me the perfect political newbie to share my experiences on Capitol Hill with you. In the morning, we’re getting briefed on how to handle our meetings, then we’re off. Tonight, I met many PBA members both at a meet and greet here at the Sofitel Lafayette Square hotel (shown above) and over dinner, and many have participated in this event before and seem down-to-earth, friendly, and confident about tomorrow, which makes me excited to see exactly how all of this political activism stuff works!