The Better for America Podcast

Fighting For You!: AMAC Action Update | Andy Mangione | EP 284

Posted on Tuesday, May 14, 2024
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by Rebecca Weber
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Active Member Engagement in Political Advocacy

Rebecca Weber and Andy Mangione discuss the active involvement of AMAC members in political advocacy through “call to action” campaigns. In 2024, AMAC Action has initiated 41 campaigns across 38 states on various issues like anti-ranked choice voting, stopping non-citizen voting, opposing red flag laws, and promoting parental rights. These efforts demonstrate the organization’s commitment to influencing policy and engaging its membership in significant civic activities.

Legislative Impact and Representation

AMAC Action, under Mangione’s leadership, actively participates in state and national legislative processes by representing its members’ interests. This includes submitting written testimonies against ranked-choice voting in multiple states and lobbying for bills that align with their conservative values, such as preventing the debanking of conservatives in Tennessee. This illustrates their strategy to use the organization’s influence to shape legislation in favor of their membership’s preferences.

Enhancing Member Participation and Benefits

The podcast highlights the ease with which AMAC members can engage in advocacy and the benefits they receive from their membership. Weber and Mangione emphasize the simplicity of participating in campaigns through online platforms and the added advantage of receiving information and discounts. They also discuss the broader impact of collective action, showcasing how AMAC’s large membership base can sway discussions in Washington and state legislatures.

Focus on Conservative Issues and Election Integrity

AMAC’s focus areas include election integrity, parental rights, First Amendment rights, and fiscal responsibility. They are particularly concerned with issues like DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) practices in education and corporate America, which they oppose. Additionally, AMAC encourages members to become more involved as poll observers or election workers to ensure conservative representation and oversight in elections.

Grassroots Efforts and Future Actions

Weber and Mangione call for increased grassroots involvement, stressing the importance of personal advocacy and community organization. They invite members to take leadership roles within AMAC Action, such as forming chapters or becoming delegates. The discussion also touches on future initiatives, including fighting anti-competitive practices among pharmacy benefit managers and advocating for Social Security reforms to ensure benefits for future generations.

Please leave any questions or suggestions for future BFA episodes in the comments below!

Full Episode Transcript: 

Rebecca Weber: Hello, everyone. I’m Rebecca Weber. You’re watching Better for America, sponsored by AMAC, the Association of Mature American Citizens. And I am thrilled to be sitting today with Andy Mangione. Andy is the Senior Vice President of AMAC Action. Folks, there’s so much that we want to share with you all about what AMAC and AMAC Action are doing.

Hello, Andy. Thank you so much for being with me today. It’s always great to sit down with you. How have you been?

Andy Mangione: I’ve been very busy, but it’s a good thing, Rebecca. I’ve been very well and honored to serve our members, with AMAC action because that’s what we do.

Rebecca Weber: Andy, I must say that I am overwhelmed with the amazing good work that you are leading.

AMAC members are engaged. They’re participating in what I like to refer to as a So I want to talk a little bit about what’s happened since January, in the first quarter of 2024, and how over 2 million AMAC members have been getting involved in the fight to right the course of America. So what has AMAC Action been involved in so far this year?

Andy Mangione: It’s been a very busy first part of the year, Rebecca. And as I mentioned, that’s a good thing. Now, what we’d like to say at AMAC Action is our members do all the heavy lifting here. We coordinate call to action campaigns and a call to action campaign is simply a notification for our members to engage on a specific issue.

So far this year, we have launched 41 call to action campaigns across 38 states on these issues. And keep in mind, Reb, these issues are the ones that our members put into our portfolio. We’ve been active on anti rank choice voting bills, stopping non citizen voting, opposing red flag laws. And a red flag law is when.

there’s legislations that is enacted that will take guns away from lawful gun owners. We’ve been active in parental rights among other issues. So we’ve launched all these call to action campaigns in states throughout the country. We’ve done national campaigns and, it’s, and there’s much more of the year left.

So we’re going to be even more active, but we’re off to a very busy start and thank God that our members are so highly engaged to make us look real good with some of these results.

Rebecca Weber: And it really makes a difference when we go to Washington and we say that we have over two million AMAC members that are in support of things like stopping non citizens and illegal aliens from voting in our elections.

People listen because they understand the power, the strength in numbers. and I just want folks who are listening, many of whom are AMAC members to understand it’s very easy to get involved. so when you become an AMAC member, when you join AMAC, of course we offer great benefits, steep discounts.

We want more of your hard earned money to stay in your wallet. we also offer, the AMAC magazine, which gets delivered directly to your mailbox. I love this magazine. This is the latest issue. Should be hitting your mailbox this week or last week. You may have received it. But I think the biggest reason why people are joining AMAC in droves is because of the work that we’re doing on Capitol Hill.

How else has AMAC action represented AMAC members on important issues?

Andy Mangione: I mentioned the call to action campaigns, and that’s just one of the One component of what we do. I’ve had the opportunity to represent our members on a state level by submitting written testimony on behalf of the membership.

I mentioned how many members we have in a specific state. Now, these issues that I’ve submitted written testimony, they concerned ranked choice voting. And ranked choice voting, if you recall, is a, is a. Complicated, complex way, that skews election results that throws out ballots. It’s bad news.

We are big believers in one person, one vote. So I was able to submit written testimony in Ohio, in Wisconsin, in Kansas, and in Georgia, on behalf of the membership there, giving our members in those states, the voice and amplifying it to state legislators, to the people. to help, either oppose bad rank choice voting legislation or support good ones.

We really give voice to our members and we did it at another way too. When we lobbied the state of Tennessee, we lobbied the state legislature there to pass a bill that would pRebent the debanking of conservatives. Now I want to recall the JPMorgan Chase campaign that we did last year, Rebecca. We sent over 90, 000 messages, our members did, to JPMorgan Chase executives telling them to stop debanking people that have a conservative worldview.

And this is how they do it. Big banks have distorted the definition of reputational risk scores. They now include people that believe in freedom of speech, that believe in religious freedom, in other words, And what they do, they believe these people are a threat to the, these people and individuals.

They believe that these people are a threat to the bank’s reputation, so they cut off services. we lobbied the Tennessee state legislature and the debanking bill, the anti debanking bill passed both the house and the Senate and is awaiting the governor’s signature to be signed into law. So that wasn’t a call to action.

That was directly lobbying the state legislature. So we represent our members in many different ways. So we helped get this legislation passed in Tennessee, where these large banks won’t be able to harass conservatives who happen to hold the worldview that they disagree with.

Rebecca Weber: Yeah, this is terrific work.

So a lot of work on the election integrity front, a lot of work on the parental rights front. I want you to share a little bit more there in a moment, working on protecting your Second Amendment, your First Amendment rights, of course, fiscal responsibility. All of these issues are really important. Thank you.

the issues that AMAC members come to us and say these are the issues that we want you, AMAC, to focus on, our behalf. So again, for people who are listening, you have an AMAC membership, let’s just say, but you have not participated in our calls to action. How do people who are listening who want to get involved and fill out these petitions or lobby their state legislatures, how do they sign up to do that, Andy?

Andy Mangione: It’s very easy. You can go to amacaction. org to become involved in our advocacy. But when we do these Call to Action campaigns, it’s a benefit of membership. As you mentioned, Reb, the first thing that people should do is join AMAC. We have wonderful member benefits, but one of the member benefits that you’ll experience is Full throated conservative advocacy in Washington DC and in states throughout the country.

And it’s the way to get involved with these are email blasts that we send out either compelling people to get out the vote or on a specific issue and making a request that they contact their state representative. It’s just a simple point and click. It’s very easy to get involved. We have specialized software that will ensure that your message as a constituent will get to your representative and that your voice gets heard.

Rebecca Weber: Yeah. And I want to remind people that this is no joke. AMAC is probably one of the most, if not the most, powerful when it comes to grassroots. And I know that because we talked to so many other amazing conservative think tanks, conservative organizations that also have their own membership, and no one with the breadth and depth and size of AMAC.

if you care about this country and you want to get involved, join AMAC and be sure To check out the emails that we’re sending to your inbox, because that is the easiest way, the least expensive way for us to communicate with AMAC members. if you aren’t getting our emails, you can go to amac. us and you can sign up for daily news.

you’ll be sure to get our calls to action that way. And finally go to amacaction. org. You can fill out a form. Now, in addition, To participating in our calls to action for those who are listening that say, this is the time for me to get even more deeply involved. I want to play a bigger role in my state.

What does that look like Andy?

Andy Mangione: people can get involved in our advocacy. We have an army of volunteers. We ask people to serve as delegates. We ask people to serve as chapter leaders. You can form a chapter. We support this at AMAC Action. We’ll help you. We’ll hold your hand to get the process, to get the process going.

An AMAC Action delegate would call on their member of Congress as a constituent in the local congressional district office to parrot and to underscore the issues that we’re presenting in Washington, DC. It’s a one two punch. A chapter leader. form a chapter, excuse me, of local AMAC members, to get together on a monthly basis, however often you wish to talk about issues, to hold candidate forums, and to enjoy the fellowship of being among fellow conservatives.

It’s a group of like minded individuals, and we have a whole support structure in place at AMAC Action to help you form a chapter, to train you to become a delegate, and to support your efforts moving forward. And it’s all free. All part of AMAC membership. So you can really get involved and we’ll hold your hand, the entire way to get you started.

we found that our, once people get a taste for advocacy, it gets in their blood and they become fired up with it. And then they generate more activity, which is great.

Rebecca Weber: I’m loving this. You give all of the support that people need. You walk them through how they can participate on the state level, how they can help us inch by inch, state by state, win back this country.

It’s so easy. Go to amacaction. org or amac. us. and certainly you can call us. You can call us at 888 262 2006. you can find our phone number on our website. Give us a call. One of our Great representatives will put you in touch with Andy’s team. So Andy, just talking a little bit more about some of the calls to action, an area that’s so near and dear to my heart, is the issue of what’s happening to our children, the indoctrination of children in schools, the way that schools are leaning into critical race theory, dividing classrooms based on race, and really trying to teach our children That the color of their skin is the leading indicator for all things in their life, which is absolutely entirely backwards.

Additionally, diversity, equity, and inclusion, this DEI nonsense, is impacting all institutions and all, really not, only our schools, but our corporations, our banks, as you pointed out. how has AMAC Action opposed the scourge of, Diversity, equity and inclusion, and maybe explain what that exactly means for many of us who say these are crazy words that sound okay on their face.

But this is bad news,

Andy Mangione: Rebecca. It is a scourge. And I know how passionate you personally are about D. E. I. Is trying to, trying to fix, equity of outcomes. As opposed to, on the conservative side, what we’re trying to do is encourage equity of opportunity. You can’t fix equity of outcomes. You can’t do that.

So DEI, diversity, equity, and inclusion is a Marxist, tactic that divides people. And we have been opposing, and it’s infiltrated. Academic institutions, all the way down to kindergarten to post secondary education. You see it, it’s become part of corporate boards. You’re seeing it everywhere. It is something that in my heart, I believe will pass, but we have to fight it.

And we have been fighting it on a national and a local level. And one recent example is when we were solicited by a sitting state Senator in the state of Kentucky, who was fighting to get a DEI bill Out of a committee there. Now this bill passed the house and it would have pRebented DEI initiatives, from being advanced in Kentucky’s post secondary institutions.

She asked AMAC specifically, AMAC action to write a statement, supporting the bill, which we did. And outlining, why DEI is bad news. We submitted it. She used it in the committee. And unfortunately, some politics are taking place there. There are a couple of squishy Republican senators with questionable allegiances that killed this bill and committee, but it doesn’t mean that it’ll come back in the next session.

The point that I’m making here is that you described us as a conservative advocacy powerhouse that is being recognized not only by legislators in Congress, but in states throughout the country. I did not know this state senator. She called me, we didn’t call her. And I’m certainly glad that she did call us because we were able to act on her request.

Rebecca Weber: Yeah. Andy, when I think about DEI, I think about how it’s just more government overreach. I was grew up in the seventies and eighties. And as a young girl, I did not ever look at other people, based, and judge them based on the color of their skin or the language they spoke or the accent they may have had.

I just didn’t do that. Why? Probably because I had a wonderful family. I had an incredible mother, an incredible father, a grandmother. who, raised me, around beautiful Bible songs, including, Jesus loves the little children, all of the children of the world, yellow, red, black, and white were all precious in his sight.

Jesus loves the little children of the world. And I think to myself, Why aren’t we going back to basics? Why aren’t we encouraging the home, the family, the mother and the father, and explaining to our youngsters that is really, in my view, the foundation, for freedom. It starts at the kitchen table.

It starts with your family. And I think that if we can, embrace, The values that made America so great, and some of those values are family, faith, very important here in America, but it seems that what’s happening is that if you have a view, if you have a view that, is, against, DEI or critical race theory, if your views are conservative, if you believe in, sharing the Bible with others, if you believe that we ought to have secure borders, if you believe, that you ought to have, The right to free speech, the right to bear arms, that were attacked.

And, it is those very people that are attacking us and attacking our institutions and the very Foundation of America that are destroying America, Andy. This is why it is so important that everyone who’s listening and I’m going to ask everybody a big favor. If you’re listening now, the next person you have lunch with or or go to the movies with, will you ask them if they’ve ever heard of AMAC?

Because our issue is, we want to take every dime in dollar. That comes in and pour it into action, getting things done on Capitol Hill and at the state level. And what’s been really tough is trying to get the word out. And because it’s expensive, people understand advertising is expensive, marketing is expensive.

The best thing you can do, Is to tell your friends and family all about AMAC. There’s so much that we’re doing before I let you run, Andy, tell us a little bit more about some of the other issues and looking into the future, AMAC actions plan as we get closer and closer to the big election in November.

Andy Mangione: we’ve been involved in other issues as well. And again, these are longterm issues that we’ve been focused on. We’ve been working very hard to bring transparency to pharmacy benefit manager. pharmacy benefit manager, anti competitive business practices. We spent the first part of this year in the Senate.

they have several bills that they’re advancing. The real work is going to take place in the House where they have to reconcile their efforts with the Senate efforts. But the narrative for PBM reform is going to remain strong because unfortunately, Rural pharmacies, independent pharmacies, and some small chain pharmacies are closing in some part due to PBM anti competitive business practices.

And what that means is that seniors can’t get access to medications. So the narrative is going to remain strong. We’re going to remain very involved on this issue, fighting for PBM transparency that will lower drug costs for everybody. Now you’ve mentioned the election. it’s a huge election. We just launched it.

A, an initiative in 13 states. These are key states where we’re asking our members to be, to work, become a poll observer or an election worker. And when you receive these emails, we ask that you please consider doing this. Now, AMAC Action Leadership worked the 2022 midterm elections. I did. we cannot ask our advocates and our members to do something that we want ourselves to do.

It was a wonderful experience for me. It was a 5 a. m. To 7 p. m. Proposition. But I’m going to do it again in 2024. The reason being, we need as much conservative scrutiny on this election to, to make sure that the left doesn’t come in there and corrupt it. It’s as simple as that. Usually these, these, positions are set by party and if we don’t get enough conservative.

scrutiny. Those positions will be filled by the bad guys. So I encourage you to get involved. It’s easy to do. It’s a long day, but it is completely worthwhile.

Rebecca Weber: Really terrific. Thank you for that great reminder. Keep your eyes out. Keep your eyes on your inbox. That is a look for an email from AMAC, how you can get involved in the November election.

So folks, we are just so supremely focused on election integrity. Protecting, excuse me, protecting parental rights, your Second Amendment, First Amendment rights, fiscal responsibility, we’ve got to get this nation under control in terms of its spending. and of course your health care, pushing back against these pharmacy benefit managers.

Social security is another great area where we are focused. We are looking to remove the double taxation on your social security benefit. Among other things, we wanna guarantee that you do see a cost of living increase and we wanna make sure that your benefits are there in the future. All of this to say that, the grassroots efforts is working, it’s growing strong.

You have had so many victories. Any finding, part parting, thoughts that you’d like to share before we wrap this? Andy?

Andy Mangione: I just, if I could say one thing, I would encourage everybody watching this podcast to stay engaged, be positive, have those kitchen table discussions that Rebecca mentioned.

That’s how we take back this country. Stay engaged.

Rebecca Weber: Very good. said. Andy Mangione, Senior Vice President at AMAC Action. It’s always a joy to be with you. Thank you for being here today.

Andy Mangione: Thank you, Reb. My pleasure.

Rebecca Weber: And to all of you out there listening, be sure to join or renew your AMAC membership. Tell your friends and family all about this great organization and get involved with AMAC Action.

If you haven’t, visit us at amacaction. org. I’m Rebecca Weber. This is your podcast, Better for America. Thank you for joining me. God bless you all.

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