SEMA News—January 2013
FROM THE HILL
By Dan Sadowski
“A Woman’s Place Is in the Garage”
Congresswoman Jackie Speier Supports SEMA Mustang Build During Visit to 2012 SEMA Show
U.S. Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) took time from her busy election-year schedule to speak at the Performance Warehouse Association (PWA) breakfast and tour the 2012 SEMA Show. Rep. Speier was elected to Congress in 2008 and represents most of San Mateo County, including a portion of San Francisco. She previously served in both the California State Assembly and Senate.
At the SEMA Show, Rep. Speier briefed PWA members on the “Marketplace Equity Act,” legislation that would require companies selling goods via the Internet and catalogs to collect sales tax in the same manner as brick-and-mortar retailers. Rep. Speier is a co-sponsor of the bill.
Under a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision, states cannot currently force retailers to collect use taxes unless the company has a physical presence in the state or Congress authorizes collection. Given its diverse membership, SEMA has not taken a position on the proposed legislation to authorize collection.
Escorted by staff from SEMA’s government affairs office, Rep. Speier toured the SEMA Show floor and visited with exhibitors from her district, including GoPro (San Mateo) and Everlast Power Equipment (South San Francisco). These visits provided a snapshot of how SEMA members are impacting both the local and national economy.
Rep. Speier also met with SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) Chairman Marla Moore, Chair-Elect Rose Kawasaki and Ford Motor Co. representative Sherry Kollien at the SEMA Mustang Build—Powered by Women display in the Ford booth. Under the direction of SBN and built entirely by SBN members in partnership with Ford Motor Co. and Source Interlink Media, the project was designed to shine a light on women working in the automotive specialty-equipment market.
“The SEMA Mustang Build is a great showcase for the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network and the women working in the automotive aftermarket,” Speier said. “This project demonstrates the growing potential and influence of women in the industry, and I applaud this effort to encourage women to pursue careers in the automotive field. The positive result of the Mustang Build is clear evidence that women are an important part of SEMA’s leadership.”
More than 40 SEMA-member companies donated products and services for the build, which includes custom paint, customized wheels, a custom leather interior, high-performance suspension and a new supercharger autographed by industry legend Vic Edelbrock.
Before departing, Rep. Speier toured the Vehicle Technology Center (VTC) and met with students from Clemson University’s ICAR program.
The VTC served as a venue to connect emerging-technology enthusiasts with the aftermarket’s advanced-technology offerings. It was also a forum to discuss a variety of issues, from high-performance synthetic oils to vehicle-to-vehicle sensors that warn drivers about impending collisions. The VTC included a display of a self-driving car equipped by Google Inc. with sophisticated 360-degree sensors.
SEMA is pleased to welcome members of Congress and other elected officials to the SEMA Show. For more information about inviting your elected representatives to the SEMA Show next year, please contact SEMA Director of Congressional Affairs Dan Sadowski at firstname.lastname@example.org.