You Can Make a Difference in Automotive Repair PolicyPosted 1/17/2006
By Robert L. Redding, Jr.
As Congress wraps up the first session of the 109th Congress and states prepare for their 2006 legislative sessions, it seems appropriate to review the Automotive Service Association's (ASA) grassroots programs.
It is important to note that ASA relies heavily on members contacting their policymakers to ensure that the independent repair shop message is heard by state and federal policymakers. ASA's board of directors has placed an emphasis on resources being used to assure members the best of opportunities to convey legislative and regulatory objectives to policymakers.
In 2004, ASA recognized high usage of its Web site for legislative and regulatory issues. It moved to create a new, separate legislative Web site - www.TakingThe Hill.com - that would serve as a communication tool for ASA members, industry leaders and policymakers. We encourage shop owners to go to the site and register to receive updates and communications regarding federal and state legislation and regulations.
At the federal level, the site has enjoyed a large amount of activity relative to Right to Repair legislation and potential regulations controlling the use of automotive refinishing products. State level issues are also popular on the site.
The TakingTheHill.com site allows ASA to alert members about important issues by e-mail. The site provides federal and state policymaker contact information to use in communicating your views. This can be done electronically, by regular mail, phone or in many cases, fax.
TakingTheHill.com outlines the basic concepts for communicating your views to state legislators, members of Congress and regulators. Let's take a look at what the site offers.
Tips for Telephoning Policymakers
To locate the phone numbers of your senator(s) or representative(s), you may use our searchable Web site at capwiz.com/asashop/dbq/officials.
Remember that telephone calls are usually taken by a staff member. Ask to speak with the aide who handles the issue about which you wish to comment. After identifying yourself, tell the aide you would like to leave a brief message, such as: "Please tell Senator/Representative (Name) that I support/oppose (S.___/ H.R.___)."
You will also want to state reasons for your support or opposition to the bill. Ask for your senator's or representative's position on the bill. You may also request a written response to your telephone call.
Tips For Writing Policymakers
The letter is the most popular choice of communication with a congressional or state legislative office. If you decide to write a letter, this list of helpful suggestions will improve the effectiveness of the letter:
Specific state protocols are available on the TakingTheHill. com site.
In a recent grassroots seminar, advocacy experts outlined what policymakers seek from grassroots advocacy:
In these communications, policymakers like to see:
These are just some of the points on ASA's TakingThe Hill.com site. Please note the site is open to the industry. It is not limited to just ASA members. ASA members may take advantage of other federal and state tracking opportunities. ASA tracks top state issues in all 50 states. These issues are updated frequently on the site.
As we prepare for the next session of the U.S. Congress and legislatures that will be in session in 2006, independent repairers should make a stop at www.TakingTheHill.com. Registering your e-mail address, and adding this site to your list of favorites, will allow you to begin the new federal and state legislative season informed and ready to advance the independent repair agenda.
AutoInc. Web Site |
ASA Web Site |
You Can Make a Difference in Automotive Repair Policy |
AutoInc's Annual Top 10 Automotive Web Sites |
OEM Web Sites: Overcoming Your Greatest Fears |
Hot and Ready: Vegetable Oil Used to Fuel Cars |
How Automotive Networks Are Configured |
Don't You Quit! |
Guest Editorial |
Tech to Tech |
Tech Tips |
News Briefs |
Taking the Hill |
Around ASA |
Shop Profile |
Net Worth |
Stat Corner |
Copyright (c) 1996-2011. Automotive Service AssociationŽ. All rights reserved.