Federal Public Affairs

With offices in Washington, D.C. and Boston, O’Neill and Associates’ federal relations services help clients form productive relationships with federal decision makers, whether the goal is to impact legislation, affect the regulatory process, secure funding or pursue government contracts. Our longstanding relationships with members of Congress, White House and Executive Branch officials, and leading Washington organizations help us ensure that our clients’ objectives are reached.

Below are some examples of just a few of the federal government relations campaigns we are proud of. Click on the client to learn more.

Case Studies:

Association of Professional Flight Attendants 

O’Neill and Associates is the agency of record for the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), the largest independent union in the worldwide aviation industry, representing 25,000 members working for American Airlines. Providing communications and federal relations services, O’Neill and Associates has advised the union through some of the greatest challenges of its nearly 40 year history including American Airlines’ 2011 bankruptcy and the subsequent $16 billion merger with US Airways. The latter required extensive media relations and lobbying, particularly when the Department of Justice sued to block the deal. Following the merger’s closing, our team advised the union through a successful integration of the former US Airways flight attendants and negotiations for a joint contract. Additional successful campaigns waged on behalf of the APFA include the fight to keep knives off of airplanes following the TSA’s decision to relax the carry-on rules and an effort to bring OSHA protections to the airplane cabin.

Massachusetts Port Authority 

For over twenty years, O’Neill and Associates has developed and implemented this agency’s strategies for federal funding and approvals. Recent successes include federal approval of the full eligible reimbursement rate of 75 percent for Logan International Airport’s $140-million-plus security program and federal approval and funding in excess of $100 million for the airport’s new regional jet runway.

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Pacific Gas and Electric Company 

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), one of the largest known natural gas and electric corporations in the United States, retained O’Neill and Associates to assist with federal government relations services as the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Division investigated the September 2010 explosion of a natural gas transmission line in San Bruno, California. O’Neill and Associates guided the company through the criminal investigation process with the NTSB and maintained open lines of communication with the investigator in charge, NTSB Members and the various administration officials involved to ensure a swift and successful resolution. O’Neill and Associates was able to anticipate and react quickly to NTSB requests for information and maintained positive and symbiotic relationships with NTSB personnel throughout the process. Finally, O’Neill and Associates provided high-level access to NTSB officials, enabling PG&E to remain aware of the agency’s actions and disseminate critical information through clear and direct channels. Guiding PG&E through this crisis and helping them navigate the process, granted them recognition as a cooperative and professional participant during the final hearing of the investigation.

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Santander (formerly Sovereign Bank) 

After helping this Philadelphia bank win 281 New England bank branches via the largest divestiture in U.S. banking history, O’Neill and Associates executed a successful campaign to create a positive identity for the bank with New England community groups, non-profit agencies, elected officials, corporate leaders and the public.

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Tren Urbano 

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico retained O’Neill and Associates to help develop a federal government, community and public relations campaign to secure local support and federal funding for a fully-automated heavy rail mass transit system known as Tren Urbano.  O’Neill and Associates worked to mold public perception—showing public transportation as a modern, reliable and economically sensible way to travel—through public meetings, one-on-one sessions with decision makers and media relations efforts. Given that the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico does not pay federal gasoline taxes or possess voting representation in the U.S. Congress, O’Neill and Associates had to develop an extraordinarily unique approach to gaining federal funding so that the project could move forward. As a result of O’Neill and Associates’ communications and government relations campaign, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico secured a $306 million full-funding grant agreement with the Federal Transit Administration as well as a $300 million TIFIA loan through the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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Tufts Health Plan 

As the third-largest health insurer in Massachusetts, Tufts Health Plan needed proactive federal representation to successfully navigate the rapidly changing health care policy environment. Tufts Health Plan retained O’Neill and Associates to provide federal relations services on issues relating to Medicare and Medicare Plus Choice, patient rights, privacy issues, HIPAA, electronic commerce, prescription drug coverage and electronic medical records initiatives. As Tufts Health Plan’s federal legislative liaison with U.S. House and Senate committees and members  of Congress, O’Neill and Associates has enabled Tufts Health Plan to stay fully current on the annual funding issues involving Plus Choice and physician reimbursement levels that affect Tufts Health Plan’s agreements with physician groups and health care providers and on legislation, as introduced, that may significantly impact Tufts Health Plan’s operations, such as electronic medical records initiatives.

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Wheaton College - Federal Relations 

O’Neill and Associates began its relationship with Wheaton College by leading a federal relations campaign on behalf of the school’s proposed science center that ultimately yielded federal appropriations in excess of $500,000 over multiple years. Our work transitioned to public relations when the college sought to strengthen its reputation as a premier coeducational college, following its transitionfrom being an all-female institution to welcoming male students. O’Neill and Associates coordinated a series of events to introduce Wheaton’s president to the Greater Boston business and academic communities, which also provided a forum to promote her thought leadership on equal learning environments and the effects of technology on education. O’Neill and Associates also secured a speaking engagement for Wheaton’s president at the Boston Chamber of Commerce, which helped lead to her receiving the Chamber’s Pinnacle Award for Achievement in the Professions.  When Wheaton transitioned to a subsequent new president, O’Neill and Associates was engaged to plan a diversity symposium for inauguration weekend and to lead a community outreach campaign on behalf of the new president to help him foster important local relationships. 

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Contact O'Neill and Associates to learn more about our federal relations expertise


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Association of Professional Flight Attendants


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Lobbying Congress in Washington, D.C. - O’Neill and Associates’ federal relations services helps form relationships with federal decision makers to impact legislation, regulatory process, secure funding or pursue government contracts.