Each year, ATD and NADA host dealer visits to Capitol Hill during the ATD Legislative Fly-in and the NADA Washington Conference. Both events are attended by hundreds of dealers, including the association’s most politically active members, national board members and state association leadership. Both events highlight the top legislative issues facing dealers today and feature meetings with congressional representatives. But you don’t have to be on the steps of Capitol Hill to make your voices heard—you can meet with your elected officials when they are home for the summer congressional recess that extends through Sept. 5.
How well does your member of Congress understand your business?
During this critical time in our industry, our elected officials need to understand the significance of our business more than ever and how their policies can impact our employees, customers and communities. The summer congressional recess is a great time to invite a legislator to your dealership or meet with them at their local office. There isn’t a better time to talk about our fight to repeal the federal excise tax (H.R. 2381/S. 1839) and our campaign to address the auto and diesel technician shortage. This summer gives us an opportunity to build a line of communication with the people who create the legislation that, like it or not, dictate our day-to-day operations.
Visits with legislators take about an hour and can be arranged around your busy schedule. We must take advantage of our opportunities to educate our elected officials on our own home turfs and on our key policy issues especially as Congress will soon consider an infrastructure bill. It’s a chance to tell them more about the retail trucking industry and how we contribute to the nation’s economy and our community’s workforce. Best of all, this is your chance to walk them around your dealership, demonstrate the newest and safest truck technologies, and give them the opportunity to meet and speak with your employees.
On behalf of ATD, I urge fellow truck dealers across the country to meet with your members of Congress at their local office or at your dealership this summer. NADA/ATD staff can help arrange an appointment; please contact Patrick Calpin, NADA/ATD director of grassroots advocacy, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It may still be summer, but there’s no time to rest for the hard-working and passionate dealers of the truck industry. Let’s make this August the most productive one yet!
Teuton is vice president of Kenworth of Louisiana, a full-service dealership with locations in Baton Rouge, Houma, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, New Orleans and Shreveport; full-service Hino dealerships in Baton Rouge and Monroe; and Southland Truck Leasing at all dealership locations. ATD, a division of the National Automobile Dealers Association, represents more than 1,800 medium- and heavy-duty truck dealerships.