ICSC members turned out in force for the 2017 Strategic Leadership Summit in Washington, DC on June 20-21. ICSC members from 34 states met with 240 Congressional offices to discuss key legislation impacting the retail real estate industry.

“This event is the critical to ICSC’s advocacy efforts because it puts our members face-to-face with Congress,” Betsy Laird, ICSC senior vice president, said. “There is nothing more powerful than our members telling legislators how these issues impact their businesses.”

As a direct result of the SLS meetings, ICSC gained several additional cosponsors to H.R. 2193, the Remote Transactions Parity Act, bringing the total to more than 30.

“This is a significant step in ICSC’s ongoing work to pass e-fairness legislation and level the playing field for brick-and-mortar retailers,” Jennifer Platt, ICSC vice president for federal operations, said. “ICSC members played a critical role in moving this legislation forward.”

Other top ICSC issues before the 115th Congress include tax reform and improvements to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

“Tax reform is a top priority for the organization,” Platt said. “Critical decisions are being made now that could have a significant impact on retail real estate and the communities we serve. Our members did a great job carrying the message that Congress should not repeat the mistakes made in the 1986 Tax Reform Act.”

ICSC supports the bipartisan H.R. 620, The ADA Education and Reform Act, introduced by Congressman Ted Poe (RTX).

“This legislation closes the loophole in the federal law that has incentivized excessive lawsuits by essentially providing a notice and cure period and requirement of specificity about the alleged ADA violation – without taking away the right to pursue bad actors who ignore compliance,” Laird said.

Prior to the meetings ICSC members participated in legislative briefings by policy experts and attended a luncheon that featured an armchair discussion of retail real estate issues with “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd and ICSC Chairman Kenneth Bernstein.

ICSC members Curt Green, Jeff Yates and Don Moseley in Washington, DC at the 2017 Strategic Leadership Summit.