During the 2008 Legislative Conference in Washington in March, more than 150 NLBMDA members took to Capitol Hill to discuss housing, the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act, green building, and health care.

Baalmann presents NLBMDA Grassroots Dealer of the Year award to Chuck Bankston, Bankston Lumber Co., Barnesville, Ga. The discussions could not have been more timely, as the Senate spent the week debating major legislation to assist home-owners and the housing industry.

Thanks to the energetic and effective advocacy of attendees, NLBMDA dealers visited more than 100 members of Congress to build momentum for the Innocent Sellers Act (H.R. 989). The first three of at least 12 House members who committed to add their support to this NLBMDA-initiated legislation are Reps. John Duncan (R-Tenn.), Todd Platts (R-Pa.), and Heath Shuler (D-N.C).

"We made significant progress to raise awareness and building support for Innocent Sellers, including gaining support from at least a dozen representatives," says Harold Baalmann, NLBMDA chairman. "It is this type of success that makes me proud to be an NLBMDA member. We remain steadfast in our resolve to seek fair and equitable legislation and assistance to enable our members to compete on a more level playing field in this new world economy."

Visit the Innocent Sellers Action Center at www.BuildtheVote.org for updates to the co-sponsor list and to let your representatives and senators know you support the Innocent Sellers Fairness Act. Your voice makes a difference.

New York state members of the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association during a congressional office visit to Rep Timothy Bishop (D-N.Y.). From left to right: Dana Schnipper, J.C. Ryan EBCO/H&G, Farmingdale; Bishop; Diana Perenza, Florence Building Materials Corp., Huntington; Jeff Marino, Burt Building Materials, Huntington; NLBMDA member who chose not to be named; and Mike Alter, U.S. Lumber, Roslyn. Attendees from Rhode Island businesses during a congressional office visit to Rep. Pat Kennedy (D-R.I.). From left to right: Stephen Carlino, Douglas Lumber Corp., Smithfield; Kristen Leporacci, Arnold Lumber, West Kingston; Bruce Charleson, Arnold Lumber; Kennedy; Tim Llewellyn, Humphrey's Building Supply, Tiverton; and Barbara Llewellyn, Humphrey's Building Supply.