Advocating for the Industry: SEMA Will Help You Meet With Your Members of Congress

By the SEMA Washington, D.C., office

Melanie White, the chair-elect of SEMA's Board of Directors and CEO of Hellwig Products in Visalia, California, recently traveled to Washington, D.C., for the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) trade show. While in our nation's capital, White met with U.S. Representative Jim Costa (D-CA), whose San Joaquin Valley District includes parts of Fresno and Tulare Counties, and his staff.

Rep. Costa Melanie White

U.S. Representative Jim Costa (D-CA) hosts Melanie White, the chair-elect of SEMA's Board of Directors; her son, Jensen (seated); and Austin Munger (right) in his Washington office.

The meeting provided White an opportunity to invite Rep. Costa to tour Hellwig Products and discuss key issues of importance to her company and other SEMA members, including H.R. 906, the "Right to Equitable and Professional Auto Industry Repair (REPAIR) Act," along with supply-chain and workforce issues. SEMA thanks White for taking the time to advocate for the industry and encourages SEMA members to develop relationships with their elected officials at all levels of government.  

Whether in Washington, D.C., or state capitals around the country, public policy battles are won by organized interests that have relationships with lawmakers. The organizations that shape public policy are comprised of businesses and individuals who know their lawmakers. More importantly, their lawmakers know them! 

SEMA is committed to helping its member companies develop relationships with the men and women who represent them in Congress and their state legislature. Providing your lawmakers with a tour of your business is one of the best ways to educate them on the things that matter most to your company. These visits have been integral to developing meaningful relationships with lawmakers that help them understand the specialty automotive aftermarket so that they can advocate for policies that defend and grow it. If you would like to get to know your members of Congress, SEMA staff stands ready to help! 

The first step in developing a relationship with your lawmakers is to introduce yourself and invite them to your business. SEMA staff will draft up an invitation, send it to your lawmakers, and manage the day-of logistics for the event. If you'd like to host your elected officials, email Eric Snyder, SEMA's senior director of federal government affairs, at  

Please let us know if you're going to be in the Washington, D.C. area so that we can schedule a meeting for you with your members of Congress and their staff and save the date on your calendar for SEMA's 2024 Washington Rally on May 8-9, where SEMA members will congregate in our nation's capital and meet with their members of Congress.