Grass Roots Legislative Initiative
Expands With Second Presentation
By AMY L. WITTMAN, Editor in Chief
The Rocky Mountain, Lone Star and South Atlantic
Coast regions continue to be the Navy League’s top
performers in reaching out to members of Congress.
The Grass Roots Legislative Initiative calls on Navy
League members to contact at least 60 percent of all members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives with
a standard message about the importance of building and
maintaining a robust U.S. fleet.
Guided in the field by their regional vice presidents
(RVPs) for Legislative Affairs, Navy League members
reached out to lawmakers with Presentation One
beginning in mid-2005. The emphasis has been to first
introduce members of Congress (MOCs) to the Navy
League and its local constituents and then address concerns regarding fleet size.
As of March 11, Rocky Mountain, Lone Star and South
Atlantic Coast had given Presentation One to 82 percent,
67 percent and 63 percent of their MOCs, respectively.
Navy League National Vice President for Legislative
Affairs Randy W. Hollstein, left, chats with U.S. Sen. Thad
Cochran, R-Miss., ranking member of both the Senate
Appropriations Committee and the Appropriations subcommittee on Homeland Security, at a Navy League ceremony honoring congressional supporters of the Coast
Guard Feb. 12 on Capitol Hill. The Navy League’s second
Grass Roots Legislative Initiative presentation for members of Congress will focus on support for the Coast
Guard and its Deepwater modernization program.
Randy W. Hollstein, national vice president for
Legislative Affairs, said he is “heartened” by the
progress in these three regions, as well as Florida,
which reached 44 percent, according to the March 4
Legislative Affairs report. “This effort has never been
more important than it is today.”
James P. Bras, past Legislative Affairs Committee
chairman and now senior adviser, agreed.
“I am excited to be part of a program that is growing
in its influence to support the sea services,” he said.
“Key to our efforts is the region vice president, with
the support of the region president (RP),” Bras said.
“The regions showing the most MOC visits have RVPs
and RPs with good management skills and they exhibit
strong leadership ability. These RVPs and RPs communicate with their councils and the results are obvious.”
Along with Bras, Hollstein’s Grass Roots team
includes Daniel B. Branch Jr., chairman of the Legislative
Affairs Committee and Rocky Mountain RVP for
Legislative Affairs; R. Thomas Dwyer, also a senior adviser; along with the following RVPs for Legislative Affairs:
Pacific Southwest’s Dan Dufresne, Empire’s William J.
Evanzia, Bobby Ferguson of Great Lakes, Pacific’s Nora
Feuerstein, Donald A. Giles of South Atlantic Coast,
Southern’s Thomas J. McGuire, Northwest’s Carol A.
Meteney, Lone Star’s Jack F. Ritter Jr., New England’s
Mike Slein and Florida’s David C. Sullivan.
Four RVP slots are vacant. National headquarters’ support comes from John Fleet, director of Legislative Affairs.
Ritter attributed Lone Star’s success to, among other
things, 100 percent support from Region President
Donald B. Walker.
“He has communicated this support of the
Legislative Affairs Program to all council presidents in
a letter requesting these officers to find and appoint a
qualified council vice president for Legislative Affairs,”
He noted that the council presidents rallied to the
call, becoming “100 percent involved.”
For Florida’s Sullivan, his first task “in getting
Presentation One out to the MOCs — 24 in my region
— was to get points of contact established in each local
council and ensure [they] were willing to actually get
involved. This was not an easy task, but with the help
of Regional President Pat DuMont, we accomplished
this task. Next came training sessions for each area,