By the end of the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association's (NLBMDA) 2007 Legislative Conference, held April 16?18 in Washington, the NLBMDA-initiated Innocent Sellers Fairness Act (H.R. 989) had doubled its number of co-sponsors from 12 to 24. One week later, the number had nearly tripled to 33. And by the time this article went to press, ISFA had garnered 44 co-sponsors.
Thanks to the energetic advocacy by the record-setting group of attendees who came to Washington, Innocent Sellers has gained traction, picking up support even among Democrats whose party traditionally has opposed legal reform measures. Those who participated in this year's conference are to be commended for a job well done!
During the Tuesday Briefing Breakfast, held in conjunction with WTCA?Representing the Structural Building Components Industry, two influential "Blue Dog" Democrats–Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.), who delivered the keynote address, and Rep. Dan Boren (D-Okla.), the lead Democratic sponsor of Innocent Sellers and the winner of NLBMDA's Legislator of the Year award–encouraged dealers to keep advocating for issues important to small businesses. The lead Republican sponsor of H.R. 989, Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio), entertained a vibrant crowd at the LuDPAC dinner on Tuesday evening.
The 2007 Legislative Conference was the most successful one to date. NLBMDA already is working to ensure that next year's conference, which will be held March 31–April 2, will empower dealers to continue taking our message to Congress. Mark your calendars and plan to join us in Washington next spring! And don't forget to let your representatives and senators know you support the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act by visiting www.buildthevote.org. Your voice makes a difference! –Sarah Owen is director of government affairs and grassroots advocacy for NLBMDA.
The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association represents more than 8,000 lumber and building material companies with more than 400,000 employees, 20 state and regional associations, and the industry's leading manufacturers and service providers. NLBMDA is the voice of America's building suppliers. www.dealer.org.