You need to be involved. Yes, you!
To achieve legislative and regulatory victories for the roofing industry, members of Congress and their staffs need to hear directly from roofing professionals regarding issues affecting the industry and their businesses. Engagement at the grassroots level bolsters the arguments NRCA’s government affairs team takes to Capitol Hill on your behalf.
There are several ways you can engage politically and help grow NRCA’s grassroots footprint in Congress. You can communicate directly with your elected officials, highlight your company at home and/or join other roofing professionals in Washington, D.C., in making the industry’s collective voice heard during Roofing Day in D.C.
The easiest way to get engaged is by communicating with your elected officials. In 2017, NRCA streamlined the process of sending letters to elected officials by launching the NRCA Grassroots Advocacy Network. Through this platform, you can access and customize prewritten letters that address important industry issues and send them to members of Congress in your district and state in minutes.
The NRCA Grassroots Advocacy Network also provides other helpful tools, including a portal to help identify representatives in your area and tools that allow you to share existing relationships and anecdotal stories with NRCA’s government affairs staff. The advocacy network is available at roofingadvocacy.nrca.net.
Tours and meetings
You also can get involved by building relationships with your elected officials. Every August and multiple times throughout the year, members of Congress leave Washington, D.C., for district work periods, which allow them to spend time in their home states. In particular, members of Congress have an extended period of time in August to meet with constituents. NRCA encourages you to engage with your legislators regarding roofing issues throughout the year and use district work periods to schedule business tours, job-site visits and meetings.
Having spent time working on many political campaigns, I can tell you firsthand a tour of a business or job site can be a great learning experience for a legislator. A 30- to 45-minute tour of your business is ample time for you to discuss major issues affecting your company, and your legislator has the opportunity to meet constituents and take photos.
Legislative offices frequently look for tour opportunities during the August district work period. You can learn more about organizing a tour with a legislator and access an invitation template via the NRCA Grassroots Advocacy Network.
You also can set up a meeting at your lawmaker’s local office. Members of Congress schedule office hours in their districts regularly to meet with business owners, local officials and other constituents, and some members hold office hours on Saturdays. Many offices have a dedicated business outreach staff person you can request to meet with at any time. Meetings with staff can be just as beneficial as meeting directly with a legislator. If you would like assistance scheduling a business tour or job-site visit with your members of Congress, please reach out to NRCA’s government affairs team.
Roofing Day in D.C. 2020
You should not miss the opportunity to bring the roofing industry’s message directly to lawmakers during Roofing Day in D.C. 2020. In the spring of 2018, NRCA and its partner organizations successfully launched the inaugural Roofing Day in D.C. event, and this year’s event drew more than 425 registered attendees in April. The advocacy event quickly has become a crucial component of educating lawmakers about issues of importance to the roofing industry.
Roofing Day in D.C. is the one opportunity for roofing professionals to band together, speak with one voice and take the roofing industry’s message to Capitol Hill. This year, key topics included immigration reform, workforce incentives and building infrastructure. The event is a meaningful opportunity for you and your employees to start building or continue growing relationships with members of Congress and their staffs. Mark your calendars for April 21-22, 2020, when Roofing Day in D.C. will take place at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park. Registration will be available early fall. Additional information is available at www.nrca.net/roofingday.
Take action today
NRCA looks forward to having the roofing industry’s voice continue to amplify and influence in Washington, D.C., and throughout the U.S. For more information regarding NRCA grassroots advocacy efforts, visit www.nrca.net/advocacy or call NRCA’s Washington, D.C., office at (800) 338-5765.
This column is part of Rules + Regs. Click here to read additional stories from this section.