Dear Industry Colleagues,
ASA’s Government Affairs Committee and the Board of Directors have set an ambitious agenda for this year that also lays the groundwork for 2009 - when we have a new President and Congress. To implement the agenda, we are launching new programs that allow each of us to become more involved in the government process.
For details about the 2008 Government Affairs Agenda, visit www.asa.net. I encourage you to visit the website often - at least once a month, since we will be posting regular updates and progress reports on the issues. Please remember that this is your agenda, and it’s an evolving agenda. Let me know if there is a legislative or regulatory issue that is not listed that should be!
One of my goals this year is to increase our level of government affairs activity so we are prepared for the new Administration and the Congress in 2009. To be proactive whenever possible, ASA is currently working with the retail industry to include showrooms in pending federal legislation, which provides a favorable 15-year depreciation recovery period for retail improvements; partnering with the EPA to promote water-efficient plumbing products through EPA’s WaterSense program; and educating members of Congress on the importance of LIFO to so many companies in our industry.
In addition, we are ramping up our level of activity to oppose the Card Check legislation. The “Employee Free Choice Act” - or “card check” - is one of organized labor’s top legislative priorities and would effectively eliminate workers’ ability to make the important decision over union recognition in the privacy of a voting booth.
I travelled to Washington, D.C., in late February for meetings on several of our issues. This was one of several trips I expect to make in 2008. You can join me on April 29 and 30 for ASA’s 2008 Legislative Fly-In. We will meet with Senators and Representatives. This is your chance to educate your members of Congress about our industry and our issues.
Another activity in 2008 is ASA’s Congressional Visit Program. The purpose of this program is to invite Representatives and Senators to our supply houses and facilities in order to expose them to the unique nature of the PHCP industry and the role ASA members play in delivering products and services. I know first-hand the value of such a site visit. In January, my Congressman, Joe Donnelly (D-IN), visited my company. At my invitation, he toured the facility and spoke with my employees. Several employees invited their spouses to come by, which I thought was great. I had the chance to “bend the Congressman’s ear” on Card Check and other important industry issues. ASA provided me with the tools and background information to make the Congressional visit a success. This “visit” program is enormously important to our success in 2008 and to laying the groundwork for 2009. Stay tuned for more information on the Congressional Visit Program.
And finally, another major goal in 2008 is to build ASA’s Political Action Committee (PAC). A more powerful PAC gives our industry greater capacity to support incumbents and challengers who stand with us. Please join ASA-PAC and become a member of the Capitol Club. To join the PAC, visit www.asa.net.
Consider the impact ASA can - and will - have in Washington, D.C., this year and in the future if we all make the effort!
Mid-City Supply Co.