SEMA News—August 2015


SEMA Needs You for a Stronger Impact in Washington, D.C.

 Chris Kersting

The efforts and outcomes secured by SEMA’s government affairs office in Washington, D.C., are among the association’s most highly rated benefits, according to our annual member satisfaction survey. While the D.C. team is a key factor, success is a function of each of you taking part and putting your strength into the effort—helping us make a deep impact on the policy discussions and decisions that are critical to the future of our industry.

Our Washington office is comprised of a talented and active professional staff, working on issues that are of high concern for the industry. From vigilance and reform concerning automotive-specific matters to small-business regulation to energy and environmental matters and tax relief, SEMA’s government affairs team does valuable work to protect against negative measures and initiate proactive measures. They also help lead the charge on state-level issues, such as registration and titling of specialty vehicles, vehicle ride height and fighting harmful ethanol fuel mandates. But we can be more effective—especially as the stakes get higher—if each of us in the SEMA community takes on a small piece of responsibility.

One simple way to make a meaningful difference is through the SEMA Political Action Committee (SEMA PAC). Put simply, the PAC exists to strengthen the industry’s ability to impact a wide range of legislative and regulatory issues. By law, the association itself is prohibited from using its funds to contribute to lawmakers and political candidates. However, SEMA PAC allows the individuals in our SEMA community to pool their personal contributions to help in the election campaigns of lawmakers who support our industry’s positions and initiatives.

Issues important to our members are being proposed regularly and debated every day. Resolving these issues with a good outcome for our industry will always be a challenge. Key to this mission is educating lawmakers to our industry’s views and why the industry’s views matter. The automotive specialty-equipment industry has growing economic impact, contributes to job growth and the tax base and is a strong piece of the fabric of U.S. manufacturing. When we connect with lawmakers who recognize what we represent and want to support us, it is vital that we support those lawmakers. We stand for policies that will help keep our members thriving and the nation strong. SEMA PAC allows you to help us do just that.

We are pleased to say that more people are supporting the PAC than ever before. We need to build on that success, because the more people who join, the greater our ability to impact change. While I encourage all of our members to support the PAC, the amount you contribute is less important than the fact that you do contribute. Participation is the key, and there is strength in numbers. Each of us can have an effect on the legislative process. That’s because 100% of the contributions made to SEMA PAC are used to help elect legislators who support the legislation that is important to the future of our industry.

As with all trade associations, SEMA must receive written permission from individuals within our member companies as a required first step in supporting the SEMA PAC. You can give us that needed permission by visiting Signing up never obligates you to contribute, but once the form is completed, you can find additional information about SEMA’s legislative issues, those who support us in Congress and how you can make a difference with our nation’s laws and regulations. If you have questions, please feel free to contact our SEMA PAC and Congressional Relations Manager Christian Robinson at And thanks in advance for adding your voice and support.

Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO


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