As of the end of today, Friday, July 24, here is where the next relief act sits in Congress.
We have had a tremendous collective effect with our communication campaign. Please note the following facts.
The RESTART Bill was introduced on May 21 into the Senate. This is a bipartisan bill.
The Bill had two Sponsors: Senators Michael Bennett and Todd Young.
On June 3, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee held a hearing.
Nothing officially happened after June 3.
The Live Event Industry began a large scale, multi-faceted communication campaign from our industry on June 3.
Many people communicated with the various Congressional leaders via different e-mails, letters, and calls.
Several different endeavors and initiatives were erected within our industry, and they were all effective.
The industry began to respond to many call to actions, including a direct e-mail campaign that all of the Live Event Industry media carried on June 9.
This message was a single form letter that people were encouraged to send to their legislators.
And you did, in huge numbers.
A second call to action letter went out 10 days later.
Not a single Senator had joined the original two Senators to support RESTART until our industry began delivering our message to our legislative leaders.
May 21 to June 29: 2 Senators total
June 30 to July 1: 12 Senators total
On July 16, a call to action by our industry in conjunction with NAMM went out. This was led by a letter calling July 16 the D Day for our industry.
Again, the entire Live Event Industry media placed this call to action in every possible channel of communication from print to online to all forms of social media.
NAMM launched an effective lobbying campaign in Washington to advance the needs of the Live Event Industry.
Thousands of people within the industry e-mailed, and rebroadcast this letter in thousands of ways.
The distribution was overwhelming, as was the response from our legislators.
After this letter writing campaign, an additional 25 Senators have suddenly signed on!
These 25 Senators signed on between July 21st and July 23rd, starting 5 days after our D Day Campaign.
There are, as of today, a total of 37 Senators advocating for the RESTART Act.
This increase in Senators signing on is a direct result of the entire Live Event Industry communicating effectively with our legislators.
Since the bill was introduced, we have persuaded 35 Senators to give their support to the bill.
Our voice has been heard.
Our need is known.
It is almost unprecedented in Congress that a bill sits for 6 weeks with no support, and then suddenly it gains tremendous support.
Our legislators have heard us and are listening.
I wish to thank everyone in the entire industry that took the time and the effort to engage in this endeavor.
You made this happen.
We all owe the Live Event Industry media and NAMM an enormous thank you for everything they have done to make this a reality.
The collective support of the many people, organizations and media made this vision a reality.
We sit in a great position with Congress and they do have the additional funding, enhanced unemployment and liability protection we need sitting before them in a potential bill.
Next week and perhaps up until August 8, our legislators will be working diligently to craft a relief bill that is palatable to all parties.
This is a process and will likely take some time.
Monday through Wednesday, the late Congressman John Lewis will lay in state, and this will naturally cause a slowdown in the process as Congressman Lewis is given the respect he deserves.
There will no doubt be some level of work being done behind the scenes on this very important bill.
There are many pieces to this bill that have nothing specifically to do with our industry, so be patient. This will take some time.
There are a lot of moving parts.
It seems most likely that the critical elements of RESTART, Save Our Stages, ENCORE, P4 and other purposed bills will end up included into the larger bill that will be crafted.
There is a lot of work to be done on The Hill in the next two weeks, but right now it appears our needs for additional funding and legal protection are being covered in some manners.
The two sides of the aisle will come together and work toward legislation that is most beneficial to America and all of our wonderful people and industries.
Thank you all again for an unbelievable communication effort with our legislators.
They have heard us and are reacting.
There will be updates next week as things progress.
In the meantime, relax and have a great weekend.
Take care and be safe.
Michael T. Strickland
Chair and Founder