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Dealer Advocacy Starts in Our Own Backyards

Published September 15, 2021


2021 ATD Chairman Steve Bassett

Steve Bassett

Immediate Past Chairman
General Truck Sales
4300 N. Broadway
Muncie, IN 47303

It takes concerted effort and unified voices to effectuate positive change in the commercial truck dealer world. And today, with an onslaught of new government regulations and Congress considering one of the largest tax and spending bills in history, I am calling on my fellow dealers to advocate for our industry: Start by joining your state dealer association.  

ATD’s legislative and lobbying efforts have always been fueled by our truck dealer members, but our work cannot be done alone. We need engaged and informed dealers to coalesce and build grassroots efforts at home in state congressional districts across the country. I’ve seen this time and time again: the groundwork we solidify at home is the first step in building a strong network that can tackle critical issues that often start at the state level. But it’s up to each of us to begin laying a brick in the foundation.

If you’re already part of your state dealer association, I applaud you and encourage you to take it a step further: be an active member; run for a seat on the board; and cultivate long-term relationships with your state elected officials. As I’ve said before, get to know your metro or state association executive and find out how you can help in current campaigns, grassroots activities or even emergency relief efforts for your state dealers. There is never any down time in our industry. At this very moment your state dealer association is battling a hotbed issue, whether it’s franchise laws or the future of electrification throughout the truck industry.

I encourage all ATD members to be aware of our most recent challenges and stay up to date on your local issues. The reality is many elected officials don’t always understand the contribution we make in our local communities or how our truck dealerships operate. But when they hear from you or when they visit your dealerships, they gain a better understanding of what we do and what we provide for our communities. This is the work that starts with as little effort as an email, or a few phone calls, and hopefully results in an in-person meeting. The more of us that are involved and engaged, the more impactful our work will be later down the road.