SEMA News—August 2015

By Colby Martin

The Driving Force Behind SEMA’s Advocacy Efforts

Newsletter Arms Members With Timely Legislative Action Items
Driving Force
Featuring a cover illustration created by the author, the latest edition of Driving Force detailed the car hobby’s divided feelings on vintage-vehicle bills proposed this year in Maryland and Nevada.

The fight against unfair automotive laws has been spearheaded by the SEMA Action Network (SAN) for nearly two decades. Citizen advocates—individuals from the industry and hobby alike—help shape the course of automotive-related proposals before they become law. While keeping its membership posted on legislative trends throughout the United States and Canada, the SAN offers easy-to-follow guidance on influencing bills in one’s jurisdiction. Urgent in nature, the SAN’s Legislative Action Alert e-mail messages immediately call constituents to speak out in a unified way about legislation making its way through the legislatures. This potent tool has a proven record of successfully swaying lawmakers on high-impact issues.

Although grassroots organization forms the heart of the SAN’s influence, its Driving Force newsletter ( showcases the bigger picture at the state and federal levels. Since the SAN’s inception in 1997, the publication has been a trusted digest to convey information about the current legislative landscape nationwide. It informs readers about battles affecting the car community even when issues may not directly impact their own jurisdiction. After all, history has demonstrated that what takes place in one state house can easily occur in another, for better or worse.

“I’ve been working on the newsletter for more than a decade now, and I’m very proud of its evolution,” said Mariciel Basallo Fuller, SEMA’s senior graphic designer. “We’ve strived to make it simpler and more visually appealing. More emphasis on graphics, photography, custom illustrations and easy-to-read articles has helped transform this grassroots publication into a powerful voice that now reaches thousands of enthusiasts across the country and beyond.”

The newsletter has been consistently recognized by its contemporaries from the world of automotive publications for service excellence. Each year, the newsletter is a contender for the coveted Golden Quill Award, issued by Old Cars Weekly, as well as honors within the International Automotive Media Competition, a function of the International Society for Vehicle Preservation.

Once a monthly publication, Driving Force is now produced quarterly in hard copy form. However, the title has been supplemented by a timely and streamlined Driving Force Online, which is transmitted to SAN members electronically every two weeks. The biweekly publication has made it more efficient for subscribers—including media and enthusiast networks—to source legislative updates as they occur.

As a member of the industry, get involved with the SAN free of charge at www.semasan/join. As a member, you will receive a complimentary subscription to Driving Force as well as legislative updates as they happen in your jurisdiction—no cost, spam or catch. Ask your colleagues and friends to do the same. After all, great strength comes with great numbers. For more information, contact Colby Martin at 909-978-6721 or

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