The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) welcomed more than 200 dealers and their families to Washington, D.C., March 14–16, for the 2005 Legislative Conference. Delegates from 49 states attended this year's conference, where they heard from Washington insiders and industry allies, including Senator Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), Congressman Dan Boren (D-Okla.), and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Annette M. Sandberg.
Following briefings by speakers and NLBMDA lobbyists, dealers canvassed Capitol Hill, meeting with representatives in the House and Senate to garner support for industry priorities and to thank supporters.
PROSALES accompanied members of the Lumber Association of California and Nevada (LACN) to the Hill. LACN delegates, including executive director Jan Hansen, president Greg Moss of Moss Lumber, national legislative representative Matt Petersen of Mead Clark Lumber, and John D. Saunders of Economy Lumber, opted for a relationship-building strategy, visiting a host of U.S. Representatives already on the industry's side of current issues surrounding product liability, repeal of the estate tax, and access to affordable health care, among others.
For two days, the delegation tirelessly pounded the halls of congressional office buildings, thanking legislative aides, and in several cases meeting with the representatives themselves. Representative Wally Herger (R-Calif.) even excused himself from a House Ways and Means Committee meeting to talk shop with the group. After a quick meeting and photo op, Herger returned to the committee, but not before turning in the busy Capitol Hill hallway and calling out, “Keep selling that lumber and let's keep building those houses!” —C.W. Editor's Note: Want to get involved? Join NLBMDA for next year's Legislative Conference. For more information, call 800.634.8645 or visit www.dealer.org.