Advancing Industry Interests: What You Can DoWritten By: CHRISTIAN KLEIN
Article Date: 02-01-2005
Copyright(C) 2008 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
These 10 things will help AED advance the equipment industry's interest in Washington.
We're frequently asked what individual AED members can do to help the Washington office advance the equipment industry's interests on Capitol Hill. With that question in mind, here's a list of the things we think are most important: Learn about AED's Political Action Committee. AED PAC helps elect members of Congress who share your commitment to increasing infrastructure funding and reducing tax and regulatory burdens on family businesses. The PAC, which is funded entirely by personal contributions from AED members, gives AED's Washington team critical access on Capitol Hill.
Consider learning more about the AED PAC and giving us solicitation consent so we can legally send you information about it. A consent form can be found on AED's website at www.aednet.org/government/pdf/aed-pac-solicit-form.pdf.
Support the AED Washington Education Fund. AED WEF, which is supported by corporate contributions from AED members, helps offset costs associated with the Washington program. WEF recently paid for AED's depreciation bonus promotion activities, for our petition to the Internal Revenue Service on the use of replacement cost for parts inventory accounting, for our legislative fax alert system, and for research on legal issues affecting dealer-manufacturer relations.
Get involved with your local group. Local groups are important vehicles for political action. Work with group members to reinforce the work AED is doing in Washington, for example, by organizing an ImPACt fundraiser, meeting with a member of Congress, or sending a joint letter on a critical industry issue.
Come to AED's Government Affairs Conference. Each spring, equipment industry leaders come to Washington to spend two days meeting with lawmakers and helping to set AED's public policy goals. Distributor attendance at the spring meeting sends the message to those on the Hill that distributors are politically aware and engaged. Mark your calendar: The 2005 conference is scheduled for April 13-14.
Build a relationship with your elected officials. Take time to get to know the representatives and senators from the districts and states where your facilities are located. It makes a big difference when we walk into a congressional office and the member of Congress or legislative staffer knows an AED member at home on a first name basis. How do you build those relationships? Going to fundraisers, coming to Washington for industry meetings, and inviting your representatives to visit your facilities are great ways to start.
Communicate with Capitol Hill. Lawmakers want input from constituents. Respond to our calls for action by faxing, emailing, and calling your lawmakers to let them know your position on important legislative issues. Of all the ways you can help, this is one of the most important.
Read Washington Insights. AED keeps members informed about developments in Washington through the Washington Insights email newsletter and Construction Equipment Distribution magazine. Keep up to date on the issues AED is tackling in Washington. It'll help you weigh in with lawmakers when the time comes.
Communicate with AED's Washington office. Some of the issues with which we've had the most success - fighting the gray market and ending the Tennessee Valley Authority's heavy equipment program - were first brought to our attention by concerned members. Keep the lines of communication open and let us know if you see an issue emerging.
Consider serving on AED's Government Affairs Committee. The association needs industry leaders interested in helping to direct AED's public policy activities. If you're interested, contact the Washington office.
Spread the word. If you think the work AED is doing in Washington is important, let your fellow distributors (both AED members and those who aren't) know. Encourage them to get involved in AED's Government Affairs Program. And then lead by example by doing so yourself.
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