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Advocating for the Carnivals Are Real Entertainment (CARE) Act of 2023
Advocating for the Carnivals Are Real Entertainment (CARE) Act of 2023
Note: This is a brief synopsis of this document. For a pdf with more information, sample letters, and links, click here.

Passage of HR 1787 will:

– Clarify an existing category of visas for foreign workers, the P Visa, which covers the entertainment industry. Carnival workers should've been included in this category years ago.

– Solve the mobile amusement industry's most pressing issue – having enough reliable workers to operate safely at full capacity.

– Free up about 10,000 H2B visas for the many other industries (fishery, landscaping, resorts) that also need reliable foreign labor.

The CARE Act has bi-partisan support. It is not an immigration issue. It is a workforce issue.



The purpose of this grassroots effort by OABA is to socialize and mobilize support for the Carnivals Are Real Entertainment (CARE) Act in the 118th Congress.  Like any good legislative advocacy plan, it is essential for all members of OABA to make our collective voices heard.  Unlike the work we do in a coalition for the gains we make in the H-2B reform arena, garnering support for the CARE Act is limited in its impact to the mobile entertainment industry and we must work together to gain support for the proposal.

Legislative advocacy can involve anything from working personally with a legislator or aide on the wording of a bill to mobilizing hundreds, or even thousands, of people to contact their elected officials about a particular issue.  If you know your Representative personally, we would urge you to reach out to them directly.  If not, feel free to follow this guide in making contact on the Hill.

Advocacy, when done right, forces our group to define clearly what it needs and to communicate that clearly to others. It also makes it necessary for everyone to speak with one voice and to stick to a common purpose to accomplish what you set out to do.  That is why we have put this guide together for all OABA Members to make the necessary and appropriate contact with their elected officials.

Working with and getting to know lawmakers and familiarizing them with your concerns can make them into advocates for your cause as well, and will increase the likelihood that they will listen to you and your constituents on other issues. Establishing personal relationships with legislators gives you credibility with other lawmakers and with the community at large.


How to Contact your Representative


Identify and Know Your Congressman

If you do not know who your Member of Congress is, visit the “find your representative” website by clicking here.  This website will provide you with the name and contact information of your representative.  You will want to collect the number for the representative's Washington, DC, Office.  You should do a little research on your congressman.  Find out what committees he or she is on.  If they serve on the House Judiciary Committee, that is the Committee that will consider this legislation.

You should also understand where our intel indicates they may be on these issues.  If they have a score of 1 or 2, we have assessed that they are friendly to the H-2B community and should be supportive of the CARE Act.  If they are a 3, they are neutral and we have not been able to discern if they have a strong opinion one way or another.  If they are a 4, they are likely to be against our proposal, and if they are a 5, they may be hostile to our position.  No matter where they are, making the call and expressing your views is still critical.

Research the Legislation

Typically, understanding the legislation you are calling about is critical.  In this case, you live the problem each and every day, but it's still important to understand what the Carnivals Are Real Entertainment (CARE) Act actually does. We have done that homework for you and you will find talking points and details about the legislation in this document.  For information on the CARE Act, simply click here.

Review the talking points, understand the details of the legislation, its impact on the industry, and why it is important to you.


Make the Contact!

You have the name of your representative, you know the bill, now you are ready to make the call.  We will suggest a few techniques for making this contact, and would recommend that you follow all three methods to ensure that your point gets across.

There is one more item of research to complete BEFORE you make the call – you want to make sure that your Representative is NOT ALREADY A SPONSOR OF THE BILL.   The easiest way to do that is to click here and make sure his/her name is not already on the legislation.  If they are not listed, please call the office.

A few steps when you call:

   1) You will most likely get the most junior person on the Representative's staff answering the phone.

   2) When they answer, it's important to say your name, the name of your business and the fact that you are a constituent.

       a. Start by asking who on the Congressman's staff handles Judiciary Committee and/or visa matters. Ask to speak to that person.

       b. Get the correct spelling of that person's name, and their title.

       c. There are four key legislative staff positions in most Congressional Offices:

              i. Legislative Director – this person is in charge of the entire legislative team. They are a trusted member of the staff and work closely with the Member and the Chief of Staff on all policy matters. This person reports to the Chief of Staff.

              ii. Legislative Asisstant – this person is a part of the legislative team for a Member and usually handles a specific portfolio of issues for the Representative. This person reports to the Legislative Director.
              iii. Legislative Counsel – this person is sometimes appointed in offices that are on the Judiciary Committee and may be an attorney who works on these legislative issues for the Representative. They generally report to the Legislative Director but sometimes simply have a more defined portfolio of issues that may require someone with a legal background to handle in the office.
              iv. Legislative Correspondent – this person is typically the most junior member of the legislative team. They are a trusted member of the legislative staff and generally have a great deal of knowledge on multiple issues. This person usually reports to a Legislative Assistant or the Legislative Director. Because they are less experienced, they are sometimes more available to have detailed conversations with constituents.
    Special note – sometimes, the Chief of Staff will handle legislative issues. This is the Member's right hand person and should have tremedous insight into the Member's thinking on specific issues.

   3) If you have the opportunity to talk to the staff member at this point, make sure you are prepared for the opportunity.

       a. Explain your business briefly. How long you have been in business, how many generations.  If you are a fair – explain your connectivity to the carnival industry.  If you are a supplier/manufacturer partner to the mobile entertainment industry, explain your connectivity to the carnival industry. Try to make a connection with the Congressman or staffer.

       b.Explain that you are calling about the Carnivals Are Real Entertainment (CARE) Act and briefly explain the reason for the bill, what the bill does, and how this will help your family business.

   4) Make the ask

       a. This is the most important part of the conversation – ask the staffer if the Congressman would please review the bill, call you back with any questions, and co-sponsor the legislation immediately.

       b. Explain that the bill number is H.R. 1787

              i. If your Congressman is a Democrat – please tell them to call Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren's office and ask to be added to HR 1787. They should reach out to Arlet in her office. Arlet's contact information is: Arlet Abrahamian, Senior Legislative Counsel - 202-225-3072
              ii. If your Congressman is a Republican – please tell them to call Congresswoman Maria Salazar's office and ask to be added to HR 1787. They should reach out to John Mark in her office.  John Mark's contact information is: John Mark Kolb, Deputy Chief of Staff - 202-225-3931


   5) Closing

       a. Thank them for their time and consideration

       b. Explain that you would like to follow up and ask for their e-mail address.

       c. Send a quick note to HBS with a few details of the conversation for potential follow-up by your federal team. Include the name of the staffer and any sense of support or opposition to the bill.

              i. Send comments to John Ariale at jariale@hbstrategies.us and/or Rocky Fox at wfox@hbstrategies.us.

Follow up Resources

After your meeting and no later than 3 days after the meeting, follow up with the staff member you spoke with to thank them again.  You can use some of the language in the resources we have provided, craft your own, or use any combination you feel comfortable with.  

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