FROM THE HILL
Make Friends in High Places
Host Members of Congress at Your Business
By Eric Snyder
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), lead sponsor of the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act, and John Hotchkis (right), owner of Hotchkis Sport Suspension in Mooresville, North Carolina, address local members of the industry.
Do you want Congress to pass bills that protect our automotive freedoms and enable the specialty automotive aftermarket to thrive? Do you wish that policymakers in Washington, D.C., understood our industry and the thousands of jobs that it has created in communities throughout the United States? If your answer to those questions is yes, now is the time to get involved with SEMA’s efforts to connect your business with members of Congress.
Whether in Washington or in state capitals around the country, public policy battles are won by building relationships with lawmakers. The organizations that are most effective in shaping public policy are comprised of businesses and individuals who know their lawmakers. More importantly, their lawmakers know them.
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) and John Pruitt (left), Trucks USA owner, chat during a tour of the business facilities in Abbeville, South Carolina.
SEMA members have been hosting members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate at their businesses for over 20 years. Congressional site visits are an integral part of SEMA and its members developing meaningful relationships with lawmakers. Visiting your business will help them understand and appreciate our industry so that they can advocate for policies that defend and grow it. If you would like to get to know your members of Congress, we stand ready to help!
U.S. Representative Jake Ellzey (R-TX, fourth from right) toured Summit Racing’s Arlington, Texas, distribution and order fulfillment center.
The first step in developing a relationship with your members of Congress is to introduce yourself and invite them to your business. SEMA staff will draft an invitation, send it to your lawmakers, and coordinate with their staffs to schedule the visit. Once the lawmaker is confirmed to visit your business, we will work with you to plan the event and manage day-of logistics in coordination with you and your company. Our government relations team is ready to do the heavy lifting. If you would like to host your elected officials, please email SEMA Director of Congressional Affairs Eric Snyder at email@example.com.
SEMA CEO Mike Spagnola (right) provides Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA) a tour of the SEMA Garage in Diamond Bar, California.
Given that 2022 is an election year, Congress is spending less time in session, which means that lawmakers are back in their districts and have more time to meet with their constituents. Now is the time to invite them to your business!
In addition to hosting your lawmakers at your business, there are many other ways to get involved and advocate for the industry. SEMA members will be gathering in our nation’s capital on September 22 for the 2022 SEMA Washington Rally. During the Rally, you will have the opportunity to meet face to face with your lawmakers to discuss the issues that matter most to you and your business.
Truck Covers USA President Nils Forssman (right) provides U.S. Representative Scott Peters (D-CA) a tour of his San Diego, California-based company.
To register or for more information, please contact Christian Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, we encourage you to get prior approved for SEMA’s Political Action Committee (SEMA PAC), which allows SEMA members to support the campaigns of lawmakers who stand up for our industry. To learn more about SEMA PAC, go to www.SEMApac.com or contact Samantha Large at email@example.com.
U.S. Representative Kurt Schrader (D-OR) poses next to a vintage Jeep Willys during his visit to Warn Industries in Clackamas, Oregon.
(From left) Braden Liberg, Edelbrock’s director of compliance and calibration engineering, Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) and Todd Belcher, Edelbrock’s general manager of east operations, pose for a picture at Edelbrock’s Sanford, North Carolina, facility.