While one meeting with a legislator might not seem like a big deal, one of the great things about the auto care industry is that there are repair shops, retail locations, distributors or manufacturers located in virtually every legislative district. If every person employed in the industry actually contacted their legislator, we would be a formidable political force that would overtake our biggest competitors: the vehicle manufacturers and their franchised dealers.
The dealers and manufacturers might not have as many locations as independents, but they make up for it in political activism. They do not look at government affairs activism as a task to do in their spare time -- they view it as a necessary component of their business.
I have witnessed members of our industry catch the political fever during the Auto Care Legislative Summit, held in Washington in October 2017. Auto care executives, many for the first time, made a visit to the nation’s capital to meet with legislators and their staffs. Nearly everyone saw the value of being able to connect with their elected official and explain how they benefited their legislative district. The connections made during our summit helped our lobbying effort immeasurably.
This year, the association has taken the summit out of Washington and moved it to where the legislators are going to be -- home running for election. That is why the Auto Care Association is launching the Hometown Summit.
We will be working with aftermarket companies to organize meetings throughout the country with the goal of making legislators aware of our industry and its issues, as well as to help opening up communications between elected officials and their auto care constituents. The association staff will do all of the work, coordinating with legislative offices to set up the meeting, offering assistance with meeting preparations and providing briefing materials to make available to the legislator.
So, as you are making plans for the summer, drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). It’s easier to connect with your legislator than you think, and it could help build an important relationship that would increase support for our industry’s legislative agenda and your company’s future prospects as well.
See you this summer!
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