The firm’s Oscar Rivera played an important role in the International Council of Shopping Centers’ recent “Strategic Leadership Summit and Federal Fly-In” in Washington D.C. The following is an excerpt from an article on this initiative from the April issue of ICSC’s “Shopping Centers Today” newsletter:
Roughly 120 retail and real estate professionals converged on Washington, D.C., on March 24 and 25 to discuss e-fairness, tax reform and similar issues directly with lawmakers during the ICSC Strategic Leadership Summit and Federal Fly-In. “With all of the electronic means of communication, sitting face-to-face with another person is still the best way to convey your position,” said Brad M. Hutensky, principal and president of Hartford, Conn.-based Hutensky Capital Partners, and also an ICSC trustee and a past chairman. “So given the opportunity to meet with these congressmen and senators, we can explain from the perspective of an industry professional our perspective on these issues. That can have a great impact.”
The delegates divided up by state of residence to meet with their various House and Senate representatives or with Congressional staff. In some 220 meetings, they told lawmakers how the issues at hand affect their businesses. “It is amazing how large an impact an ICSC member can have on helping an elected official understand the impact that government can have on the shopping center business,” Hutensky said. “You’re talking about someone who is a practitioner and in some cases a constituent or someone who owns property in that person’s district. They can really talk about the impact that laws and potential laws would have on their business, and the people that shop in their shopping centers. We talked with one congressman and likely changed his view on marketplace e-fairness in one 30-minute meeting.”
. . . ICSC’s talking points for the 114th Congress included requiring online-only retailers to collect sales tax, to level the playing field with brick-and-mortar stores, tax reform, reform for the Americans with Disabilities Act, and a proposal to improve transparency and cost-effectiveness regarding energy-efficiency in building codes.