As a complex and diverse trade association that represents over 7000 member companies, SEMA has many competing responsibilities and priorities. In my opinion, there is nothing the association does that is more important than the legislative affairs work. I am extremely passionate about not only continuing these efforts forward but also increasing the resources and focus in this area. Looking into the future, I feel legislative advocacy must become a bigger part of the association’s DNA – not a project or a once per year rally.
Candidly, I feel our industry has historically been slow to react on this front by waiting to deal with issues after they emerge rather than working on the front end to prevent them from ever happening. Effectively lobbying on behalf of the industry must be a priority – even during times when there is no perceived or immediate threat on the doorstep.
If we don’t aggressively protect our interests, we will be resigned to letting others dictate our future. We must invest in the proper legislative resources in addition to growing the SEMA Action Network (SAN) into a large and powerful advocacy group of enthusiasts that applies political pressure around issues that are relevant to our industry. Every option should be on the table, including using legal means when appropriate, to clearly send the message that we will fight for the rights of our members. As one of the largest collections of small businesses in the country, we should yield formidable influence on government affairs and its time that we act to protect our future.
I respectfully ask for your vote to continue fighting on behalf of our industry as a member of the SEMA Board of Directors. ~ Chris Douglas, #Chris4SEMA