Looking to expand your company's political influence? The NLBMDA can help. By joining the NLBMDA and our local associations, you gain access to legislative and regulatory information, and representation before the U.S. Congress and the administration. Our Washington, D.C., team provides many fast and easy opportunities for you to take action to affect positive change for our industry.

The best way to learn about the issues impacting your company and our industry is to attend the spring Legislative Conference, March 15–16, 2005, in Washington. You'll be briefed on key issues affecting the LBM supply industry, trained on how to lobby your members of Congress, and then take your message directly to your senators and congressmen and women through face-to-face meetings on Capitol Hill. Members of Congress hear from countless Washington lobbyists each day, but they still truly value hearing directly from the real employers within their districts. (See page 73 for more information on the Legislative Conference.)

If making the trip to Washington isn't feasible for you this time, there are still other ways to get involved in your own community. For example, on the next page you'll read about Vice President Dick Cheney's visit to an NLBMDA member's facility this summer. In August, members in Illinois hosted a golf tournament with Congressman Don Manzullo, R-Ill. North Carolina member Mickey Boles of Smith-Phillips Lumber Co. hosted Congressman and senatorial candidate Richard Burr, R-N.C., for a lumberyard tour. If you are interested in hosting or attending a local dealer event with your member of Congress, contact NLBMDA for more information.

Along the path to better representation, the quickest and easiest step you can take to make sure policy makers in Washington hear from our industry is to sign up for NLBMDA's Advocacy Network. Members of the group receive occasional e-mail “Action Alerts” when a key bill is being debated, with instructions on how they can quickly communicate their position to members of Congress. They also receive a free monthly e-mail newsletter with detailed information about the issues and the latest developments straight from Washington.

To participate in any of these involvement opportunities, contact Colleen Rocha Levine, NLBMDA director, legislative and political affairs, at 800.634.8645 or colleen@dealer.org.

Mark Your Calendar Get quality training without leaving the comfort of your desk chair. NLBMDA's monthly Training Without Travel teleconferences cover a range of safety topics, including OSHA compliance issues, forklift training, and disaster preparedness. Visitwww.dealer.org/nlbmda/train_wo_trav.htmto register for the teleconferences listed here and to see a preview of next year's topics.

October 21, 1 p.m. EDT: HazCom: Are You in Compliance?

November 17, 1 p.m. EST: Lockout/Tagout for Lumberyards.

December 15, 1 p.m. EST: Forklift Training and Triennial Review.