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control what legislation is heard when, serving as a gatekeeper of sorts. With the Senate Con- servative Caucus securing two new presumptuous members in August—former Representative Mike Moon and Rick Brattin— the possibility of a CC member serving as Majority Floor Leader is not out of the question.


• David Linihan won the Repub- lican nomination to take on Democrat State Representative Doug Beck in the November General Election race to replace termed out Sen. Scott Sifton (D- Afton) in south St. Louis County. For reference, Sen. Sifton (D) beat his Republican opponent, incumbent Sen. Jim Lembke, with 50.9 percent of the vote in 2012.


As we are ramping up to consider the MDA 2021 legislative agenda, we thank those who have completed our recent legislative survey to give us insight on important matters to the dental profession. The MDA advo- cates on these issues while legislators are in Jefferson City, but they need to hear from you—their constituents— while they are in district. The latter is what brings bill across the finish line … the latter is what passes bills, beats insurance company schemes and ensures your practice is sustainable both clinically and financially. Get to know your legislator, act on Legisla- tive Action Alerts, and contribute to the MDA Political Action Committee which helps to elect legislators who share our vision of how an efficient dental delivery system should look in Missouri.


I look forward to working with you as your new legislative and regulatory director to ensure MDA advocacy ef- forts continue to be successful. Don’t hesitate to contact me with your questions. f


The MDA welcomes Olivia Wilson as its new Legislative and Regulatory Director. Read more about Olivia at right. Contact her at olivia@ modentalmail.org.


Meet the MDA Advocacy Team and Welcome Two New Faces


A


dvocacy is consistently the highest valued benefit according to member surveys. However, advocating for the dental profession is a complex and ongoing effort with many moving parts. Many talented staff


and committed volunteer members have contributed to the MDA’s solid reputation and success at the Capitol over the years. We want you to understand our structure, meet the current team and welcome two new additions as we head toward the 2021 legislative session.


The MDA has a three-prong approach with Executive Director, Vicki Wilbers, serving as a common link to all three.


1. The Legislative and Regulatory Committee (LRC) is a standing committee of the MDA Board. Chaired by Dr. Ron Wilkerson, (a position appointment by the MDA president), it includes representation from every component. The LRC works with members and the lobby team to develop legislative priorities each year for approval by the MDA Board.


2. The second aspect is MDA’s contracted lobbying firm, Gamble and Schlemeier. Jorgen Schlemeier is well connected and stands watch at the Capitol generally monitoring all issues that impact the profession. With more than 20 years as MDA’s contract lobbyist, he provides great consistency to our efforts over time. This year, in lieu of hiring a legislative and regula- tory director, the MDA has chosen to subcontract with Gamble and Schlemeier to hire lobbyist consultant, Olivia Wilson (see below), as a legislative liaison to give special attention to MDA issues. This strategic hire ensures good resource management and representation for the sheer volume of committee meetings and other mechanisms that happen daily during legislative session.


3. The final prong of the advocacy team is the MODentPAC Committee. Chaired by Dr. Lynne Barbour, this Committee again includes representation from every component. Its primary focus is to raise and distribute PAC dollars to candidates in concert with the other two parts of the team. Money opens doors for our message, and broad involvement with statewide officials is an important function to success. Newly assisting the MODentPAC team this year is MDA Foundation and Outreach Director, Paul Roberts (see below).


Your role in advocacy is vital to MDA’s success and goes beyond voting. You can attend the annual Legislative Day at the Capitol. You can provide timely response to VoterVoice alerts that demonstrate your stance on an issue. You also can give to MODentPAC on your dues and through various fundraisers during the year. It all works together to provide the muscle needed to protect your profession and deliver real member value.


Olivia Wilson obtained her BA in Political Science and Comparative Government & Diplomacy from Westminster College in Fulton, Mo. She graduated Summa Cum Laude in May 2019 and now serves on the Board of Trustees for Westminster College. Upon graduation, Olivia was hired to work for Gamble & Schlemeier full time as a registered Missouri lobbyist after a year-long internship. Olivia specializes in direct lobbying and public policy research, with a focus on healthcare. In conjunction with Advocacy360, she also assists clients with coalition building and strategic campaign execution. She now resides in Columbia, Mo. with her cat, Henry, and works from the Jefferson City office.


Paul Roberts will expand his current duties to provide administrative support for the MODentPAC Committee. There is room to grow awareness and participation in this vital aspect of advocacy and Paul’s familiarity with fundraising, plus his penchant for data tracking and creativity, make him well suited for the role.


ISSUE 5 | SEP/OCT 2020 | focus 19


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