Every two years, SEMA hosts a Washington, DC rally to showcase the various SEMA represented industries. It started years ago supporting motorsports. Now it represents all areas of automotive aftermarket. SEMA helps set-up congressional visits and in previous years facilitated receptions for our Congressmen, Senators and their staff. This is also a great opportunity to network with the SEMA Board and other SEMA members in our industry. SEMA members are encouraged to attend.
If you are not a SEMA member but are in the automotive after-market business, then I encourage you to join. SEMA offers a number of member benefits that can help you and your company. The SEMA Washington, DC Rally is a “members only” event.
This year SEMA is trying something different. They have invited manufacturers from segments of the industries to set-up displays in the congressional office building. This will give Congressmen and their staff a chance to see what the industry is all about. They can come at their leisure anytime during the day, see the displays and talk with the company’s representative. They have also set-up a lunch at the Capital Visitors Center where several members of Congress will speak. SEMA has been working hard to find meaningful ways to showcase our businesses and relay our concerns to our Legislators.
If you’ve never been to the rally, you are missing out on a great opportunity to meet with your Senators and Representatives.
I learned while attending my first Rally how little our Legislators hear from us. As few as five hand-written letters on a particular bill could be enough to sway their understanding and their vote. You would think that their phones are ringing off the hook with people’s comments coming from all different directions. The truth is that they don’t. That’s why it is so important that we respond quickly when needed.
There are some very important issues right now; like permitting 15% ethanol in our fuel. How much damage has ethanol already caused to our seals and hoses, valves and cylinder heads? Healthcare – how will it affect the cost of doing business? If we don’t speak up, it’s assumed that it must not be important to us. So, stay vigilant, respond to the notices sent by the SEMA Action Network (SAN), and if you are already a SEMA member, come out to the Rally and get to know your Representatives.