Sheet metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

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President's Column: Legislative policies affecting SMACNA contractors are up for grabs!

Mar 7, 2017

lansdell_152x200It was impossible to ignore the 2016 election process and now we’ve all watched the actions and reactions to the first month of the Trump Administration.

One thing is certain, it doesn’t take an insider to know that the Washington political environment has been shaken up. We don’t know if Republicans are going to support President Trump on his priorities and we don’t know if Democrats will support him on some issues. We do know that policies affecting SMACNA contractors are up for grabs!

So, as contractors, it is essential we do more than vote—we must take action. When one Civil War general who never lost a battle was asked his secret, he said simply, “get there firstest with the mostest.” That is good advice for those of us who want to move our legislative agenda forward.

Get there first!

The best chance to win our legislative battles is to get to Congress first and make our case before opposing industry groups gain ground for their agenda. The CEA National Legislative Conference presents that opportunity, Tuesday, May 2, through Thursday, May 4. (See related article.)

Have big attendance

SMACNA has joined with the newly formed Construction Employers of America (CEA) so that we can collectively deliver the message of the union contractor. But SMACNA members must do their part to be sure our message reaches as many Congressional offices as possible.

Reach out to the new faces in Congress

We must begin again to educate elected officials on Capitol Hill about our role in a complex industry. But, our SMACNA staff can do only so much. Here’s where we need you to rise to the challenge and begin the education process again with members of Congress who are often uneducated on the industry issues we’ve fought so hard for.

We make it easy and fun

You can play a critical role in building on SMACNA’s past successes as we continue to work in a bipartisan way with this new Congress. We host our Wednesday meeting outside the hotel in the heart of Washington, D.C. SMACNA makes your Hill appointments for you and educates you on all the issues.

We have a SMACNA-only dinner on Tuesday night and a Congressional Insiders Club members-only reception at the headquarters of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART) on Wednesday.

Washington is beautiful in the spring so bring the family and enjoy.

SMACNA National is working on some of the unfinished business from the 114th Congress in addition to advancing the new issues being addressed this year. We need you and your chapter members to join us on the Hill at the CEA National Legislative Conference to reach out to the many new faces that come with a Presidential election.

One of my goals as SMACNA’s president includes doing my part to move SMACNA’s legislative agenda. I encourage you to reach out to establish relationships with your members of Congress at every opportunity both at home and by attending the CEA National Legislative Conference with me next month.

With your engagement, I am confident 2017 will be a year of success for SMACNA and our industry.

Sincerely,

Joseph Lansdell
SMACNA President