You have likely seen American Building Materials Alliance (ABMA) articles in past LCs. You have probably seen ABMA information on NRLA social media channels. And maybe you’ve read some of what ABMA is up to in D.C. in the weekly LC Wired. But did you know that as a member of NRLA, you have access to a whole wealth of resources and benefits from ABMA and that your membership in this federal alliance helps with LBM issues in Washington?
Every Friday at 11:30 a.m., ABMA sends out the Advocate, our weekly newsletter. It includes not only an update on our legislative activity from Government Affairs Representative Pat Rita, who is constantly working for us in D.C., but also staff articles, regulatory updates, including compliance deadlines, and other industry news. If you do not already receive the Advocate, sign up by clicking here.
A Committee and Staff that Listen to Your Concerns:
Many ABMA priorities or issues that we work on have come directly from our members. Last winter, for example, Rod Wiles from Hammond Lumber in Maine asked us to look into the Credit Card Competition Act, a bill with the goal of lowering credit card fees by introducing competition. This spring, Bob Jackman from LaValley/Middleton Building Supply in New Hampshire started a letter to try to impact changes to CDL training and crane certification requirements. We have since sent letters on these issues to members of Congress, OSHA, and FMCSA to try to start making changes. When ABMA members have an issue, the committee and staff listen and try to see what we can do to help.
Taking Action Made Easy:
ABMA is always working on our priority issues, but members sending letters to their federal representatives and senators goes a long way in getting cosponsors and support for our issues. ABMA staff set up advocacy campaigns to make it easy for you to contact your federal legislators. We write the letter for you; all you have to do is input your name and address, and the system sends the message right to your federal legislators. You can even add your own thoughts on the issue to the letter to personalize it if you so wish.
In-Person Federal Advocacy:
ABMA hosts its annual Advocacy Day in D.C. each spring. Our 2023 inaugural in-person event was very successful, with about 60 members and staff meeting with almost 50 congressional offices. ABMA staff will schedule all of your meetings and make sure you are briefed on the issues. Keep an eye out for our 2024 event dates. You won’t want to miss it!
United Voice, Clout:
ABMA brings together LBM industry members from 17 states to work together on issues. Having so many members all advocating for or against the same issues, especially during our annual Advocacy Day in D.C., helps raise our issues to the top of the pile. The more letters a congressional office gets on an issue and the more constituents who visit them, the more likely they are to look into it and act on it.
To get involved, I encourage you to visit the ABMA website. There you will find our action alerts, legislative and regulatory articles, and media content. If you have any questions or concerns or have an issue you want ABMA to try to address, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at email@example.com or to Nicolina Schonfarber, our government affairs coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to read the full issue of the July/August LC? Click here.