The 18th Annual Surface Finishing Industry Legislative Conference is scheduled for September 29-30, 2003, at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
The Conference provides a great opportunity for active participation in shaping policy on issues that affect finishing companies, such as globalization and trade, environmental innovation, chemical and facility security and new regulatory pressures on metal and metal products.
As in past years, the first day of the conference, Monday, September 29, will include a series of speakers from government and the private sector to highlight emerging trends and issues in Washington and what they mean to the industry. The National Association of Metal Finishers (NAMF) will host a key member of Congress to deliver the keynote address at the evening reception. The following day, attendees will visit more than 200 lawmakers and their staffs to deliver the industry message.
I have attended many of these Conferences not only because it is important to get the industries message to the legislators, but also because it helps me keep up on what is going on in the industry. The contingent from Ohio walks to their appointments with their Senators as a group. This way, I get to listen to finishers and suppliers tell about how they are handling situations such as globalization, trade, environmental innovation and chemical and facility security.
Quite often, we actually get to meet face to face with our representatives, rather than their staff. I recall one meeting with Ohio Senator John Glenn where he sat with us for 15 minutes (that may not seem like a long time, but, believe me, it is) to talk about health care. Granted, we were not there to discuss health care, but that was what the Senate was voting on within the next half hour, so he wanted our opinion. He also took the time to listen to our concerns about the finishing industry.
My local representatives in Congress are also quite interested in what we have to say. I think it is not only because we vote them into office, but also because they are concerned about the productivity and health of the economies in the districts they represent. Several years the representatives even took the time to have a picture taken with us (at their expense), which they later mailed to us.
The Convention is the best way to make the finishing industry’s voice heard in Washington. We can tell our representative our concerns. We can tell them what we are doing to stay productive and profitable and what would help us stay that way. And a face-to-face meeting is always better than a letter that may be lost in the shuffle.
Make sure your voice is heard by attending the Convention. For information, contact NAMF at 407-281-6445; fax: 407-281-7345; email to firstname.lastname@example.org or check it out on the web at www.namf.org.