Report from Capitol: USPAACC asks lawmakers to consider continued funding for the Community Navigator Pilot Program (CNPP)

By Alyn Hadar, Public Affairs Specialist (Advocacy)

The pandemic must be over, because traffic has returned to Capitol Hill. And USPAACC’s CEO, Susan Au Allen & Alyn Hadar, Public Affairs Specialist (Advocacy), joined the throngs of folks from interest groups, lobbyists, and individuals who walked the halls of Congress trying to convince Representatives and Senators that their issues are worth supporting.

Susan’s and Alyn’s goal was to convince legislators to consider continuation of CNPP.

Their first stop was with Robert Yavor and Nick Goranites, who work for Chairwoman Kay Granger (R-TX), of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. The good news is that both Republicans and Democrats support small businesses, and want to help them.

However, both President Biden and the Congress have declared the pandemic is over. So Republicans are asking, “Why do we need to continue programs that were created during the Covid-19 pandemic to assist small-businesses?”

They feel CNPP is duplicative of other SBA programs.

Onto the next meeting with Ngoc Nguyen, Legislative Director, Representative Lou Correa (D-CA).

Asian American Business owners in Congressman Correa’s District were hit hard because of Covid-19, especially those who owned restaurants. With that in mind, Ngoc, is interested in our data on how effective CNPP was for the congressman’s constituents.

After that, Susan and Alyn dashed across Independence Ave., passing the Capitol, along the way, to Constitution Avenue, for their next appointment with Nita Somasundaram, Financial and Banking Legislative Assistant, to former Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who sadly passed aways shortly after we met with Nita. Former Senator Feinstein was a member of the Senate Appropriations, which deal in dollars and cents. If we had wanted former Senate Feinstein to support continued funding for CNPP, Nita raised questions such as, What did the program do for California? How many jobs will California either lose or gain, if CNPP is abolished? She wanted details and data about the program.

We told Nita we would get the information for her.

Then back to the House side for a meeting with Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-CA), who didn’t commit one way or the other. But her aides did take notes.

Like so many American citizens, why are we up on Capitol Hill. Because it gives us an opportunity to have a voice in our country’s political process.

We, at USPAACC, believe Congress should continue funding for CNPP in FY 2024. By bringing this issue to the attention of lawmakers, it gives our Asian American Business members an opportunity to be part of the process that makes the laws of the land.

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