WASHINGTON, DC, Jan 6 — AMAC Action is the advocacy arm of the Association of Mature American Citizens. The affiliate is responsible for the execution of legislative strategies as they relate to the wants and needs of the Association’s 2.4 million members, working simultaneously in Washington, DC, and in state legislatures. Andy Mangione is AMAC Action’s Senior Vice President and he joined Rebecca Weber, the Association’s CEO, on the first 2023 episode of Weber’s Better For America podcast to explain how AMAC works to achieve the membership’s political and legislative goals.
For example, Mangione talked about the AMAC Action 2022 Call-To-Action campaign aimed at getting the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the anti-competitive business practices of pharmacy benefit managers. The goal of that effort, he said, was to “affect a 20% to 25% decrease across the board in prescription drug prices for every American, including those who use Medicare” by encouraging AMAC members to go online to the FTC’s website and post messages urging the Commission to take action. In less than three months more than 17,000 members left their messages and just about two weeks later the FTC announced that it “would investigate the business practices of the top six pharmacy benefit managers. This is important because these anti-competitive business practices have been proven to increase the cost of prescription drugs.”
Another issue of importance to AMAC’s members ever since the 2020 presidential election is election integrity, Mangione said. “When 2022 rolled around, we found ourselves in the midst of the midterm elections and the primary elections that were before the midterm elections. We mobilized our members to become poll watchers. We started in early January by recognizing national poll worker recruitment day.” He said the goal was to make it easy for members to sign up to work the polls. “We did this throughout 2022, right up until about a week before the election when people could still get credentialed to work the polls. We drove over 12,000 of our members to work the polls [using] election worker recruiting websites … both in the primary and in the midterm election. We did this in states throughout the country. In some states, they experienced a 90% capacity, meaning they had 90% of the positions filled in their precincts during the Georgia recount. Some precincts were reporting 100% coverage. Our members stood up and they got involved in the election process to prevent it from being co-opted by the left. This was a significant victory because we had conservative scrutiny on these elections probably for the first time.”
Mangione said that he, the president of AMAC Action, Bob Carlstrom, and Vice President Jennifer Bankston signed up to work the polls in their respective precincts. It was a huge commitment but so was it for our members who volunteered, he added.
And then there was the Disney debacle. The new management consisted of members of what some might call the “woke” generation– upstarts who were antithetical to the vision of the company’s founder, Walt Disney. It riled a lot of people, including AMAC members when they “decided to pick a fight with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over parental rights legislation that a lot of people agreed with, particularly people who pay the freight for their families to go to Walt Disney World. And so back in April, when this debate was raging, we did our first foray into corporate advocacy. We asked our members to contact Disney’s chief executives and people on their board to let them know exactly what they thought of Disney school policies. Our members sent over 140,000 emails and telephone calls to these executives and board members to tell them what they thought of their policies, and that they weren’t supporting them. This was so effective that about two weeks after we launched our campaign, one of the Disney communications persons was fired. And then at the end, close to the end of this year, the Disney CEO was fired. Now, I’d like to think that our campaign has a little something to do with that and all the credit goes to AMAC members. They stood up. They made these calls. They sent these emails to the point where we were hearing from a Disney insider that they were overwhelmed and deluged with these calls and with these emails.”
Mangione concluded his remarks by noting that the biggest source of pride within the AMAC Action family is when its members become citizen activists, become involved, and volunteer. “They’re all volunteers who walk into their local congressional district office as a constituent first and an AMAC member second to articulate the same issues that we’re articulating in Washington, D.C. so we can have synergy on the local and national level … I have tremendous hope and I have tremendous confidence that America’s best days lay in front of her.”