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Government Relations & Public Policy

ICSC PAC Spotlight: Lacy Beasley

January 20, 2023
Lacy Beasley
ICSC PAC Chair, Trustee
President, Retail Strategies
Birmingham, AL

How can the ICSC PAC meet the industry’s needs in what seems to be a sharply divided Congress?

It’s important to know the ICSC PAC is bipartisan, giving almost 50/50 to Republicans and Democrats. The ICSC PAC is the only PAC solely representing the Marketplaces Industry, and with over 4,000 PACs registered with the Federal Election Commission — 4,000+ groups with different angles and positions — it is imperative that ICSC has the political capital to have a seat at the table to compete with those interests. The ICSC Global Public Policy team is working hard every day to advocate for your businesses and bottom lines. We need the help of ICSC members to stay in front of our elected leaders as a united voice and deliver the policy messages for our industry regardless of the current state of Congress. The ICSC PAC has the infrastructure for a united industry voice created through the GPP team. In a time when there is a divided Congress, we have an opportunity to maintain consistent nonpartisan messaging to protect our industry’s needs.     

As the new ICSC PAC Chair, how do you see political engagement evolving over the next few years?

The general ICSC membership has little to no awareness of the ICSC PAC or the issues the GPP team actively works on to advance and protect the members. Engagement will come with education on legislation that has potentially long-ranging implications to members’ businesses and communities. This education will come one conversation at a time. We are in an environment where politics are off-putting, so we avoid the topic. However, we can’t stick our heads in the sand. For some ICSC members, even if they want to engage, they don’t even know where to start. The ICSC GPP team takes away the intimidation factor. Through ICSC PAC involvement, members can learn about the small steps that create a united voice specific to a singular issue or state-specific topic to make a difference. Members can bring issues to the table where the ICSC GPP team can help. The infrastructure of support from the GPP team exists to help all members. If you want to understand how you can be politically engaged in a nonpartisan way to help protect your business and the business climate of the Marketplaces Industry, this is the place to get started. 

What would you say to someone who wants to get involved with the PAC on a smaller scale?

ICSC pales in comparison to similar trade organizations on PAC involvement with less than 1% of members contributing. We must change this in 2023 and beyond. Our goal is to simply involve 500 people in contributions at any level in 2023. For comparison, the National Board of Realtors PAC has 8,500 contributors. Sometimes ICSC members get lost in the mix being one of 50,000 members. This is a small group setting to plug members in and create a network of members with a united cause. Involvement at any level will help us reach our goal. We will celebrate contributions even as low as $50 and all the way up to $5,000. I am constantly shocked that members are willing to spend more on a bottle of wine than a contribution to the ICSC PAC. Different levels of contribution will allow members to have access to events, people and strategic conversations to grow their professional network and industry knowledge even beyond legislative issues. The members don’t have to get in the weeds in policy, let the ICSC team do that. Think about the PAC as insurance. The GPP team is behind the scenes protecting members every day so members can focus on doing business without harmful legislation blocking progress. The ICSC GPP team needs access to members of Congress made easier with a healthy PAC. It’s time for the membership to recognize and support these efforts.

What exciting things do you have planned for the PAC in 2023?

ICSC members most commonly benefit from ICSC through events and networking. In 2023 you will see more events and networking opportunities for PAC contributors. Contributions at different tiered levels will come with the benefit of connecting with hard-to-access industry professionals in a small group setting. The specifics of the levels will be rolled out in Q1 2023 that will include dinner with retailers, the DC Fly-in, small group virtual roundtables led by industry influencers, ICSC publication recognition, social gatherings at conferences, and PAC events at New York and Las Vegas. The investment will be well worth the return for members. We will make the benefits more obvious to all the members at any level of contribution in 2023. With a new generation of leaders on the rise in our industry, now is the time to engage. We each must take individual responsibility for contributing to improving ourselves, our communities and our businesses. This is just one more way members can expand the value and benefits of their ICSC membership.

Click here to support the ICSC PAC.  

For more information, contact Alyssa Rose at arose@icsc.com.