May 6, 2012

"It Takes Many Drops of Rain to Fill an Ocean"

“Objectives are not fate; they are direction. They are not commands; they are commitments. They do not determine the future; they are means to mobilize the resources and energies of the initiative for the making of the future.” - Peter F. Drucker

 It takes many drops of rain to fill an ocean; sporadic drops just are not going to make an impression. In fact sporadic amounts of anything generally do nothing to make an impact. Less than 7% of our NAHB membership (if you belong to a local association you are indeed an NAHB member) take any action when it comes to contacting their representatives and senators in Congress. Less than 3% of our NAHB members invest in BUILD-PAC. This next part is important; 100% of our members are impacted by decisions made in Washington, D.C. And yes, the employees and family members of the NAHB member are 100% affected.
Yes, 100% 

In one month, June 6th to be exact, NAHB's Legislative Conference will arrive. How many members will attend, I don't know. I will say that my answer would be, "not enough." For those attending our 2012 Spring Board meeting The Hill visits will be very manageable. But there are others, back home, who can't make the trip. The fact of this particular matter is very clear, we need the raindrops! We need to fill the ocean which is Washington, D.C. with as many in person and telephonic or email outreaches as possible. 

If you can't attend 2012 Legislative Conference, there are other options available to you as an NAHB member. NAHB's government affairs staff can provide you with talking points (click here) for either type of outreach you choose below or check the above link for information. You could also contact your NAHB State Representatives (click here for yours) and they will guide you through the process. If information is not yet posted contact NAHB BUILD-PAC staff Meghan Everngam (click here);

Your two options to help you with your career in our building industry:
1. Set up in- district work week meetings with your fellow association members, builder AND associate. "If it affects builders it will affect associates."
See the following link, 2012 Congressional Calendar (click here), for dates when Congress is on recess and start the discussions with your state executive officer, your NAHB state representatives and your state's NAHB BUILD-PAC trustees and ask what "we need to do to set up these meetings?". Ask you local executive officer for EO, state rep and BUILD-PAC trustee contact information.

2. Can't make the in-district work week happen? Contact them before the day of The Legislative Conference or the weeks following up to June 6th. Explain to your senator or congressman that your fellow building industry colleagues will be visiting on June 6th, and while you can't attend in person you wanted to make sure your voice, your concerns, are heard as well. 

Contact your Representatives (click here)

There is no reason that I know of not to engage your elected legislators.  If they don't hear from you they will think there is no problem. This is your industry, your career, we are talking about. Drops of rain will add up.

Note: If you are having any problems with contact information or general questions regarding The Legislative Confrence, please feel free to contact me directly
Michael Kurpiel, CGA, CGP (click here to contact me)

1 comment:

Michael Kurpiel, CGA, CGP said...

When visiting with your U.S. senator and congressmen during Leg Con, in-district work week meetings or even individual meetings held in person or by phone, there are "things" you should do and "things" you should not do.

1. Understand the reason for the meeting. Know your talking points. If you don't understand them, ask someone for NAHB government affairs, your BUILD-PAC trustee(s), your fellow members attending with you, etc.
2. Stay on message. You will have roughly 15 minutes to get your message through to your legislator. Keep him/her focused on the issue(s) at hand for the home building industry.
3. Make sure you have at least one associate in attendance who understands the issues and can speak to the issue(s) affects on their own businesses so the legislator(s) understand that it is a building industry issue, not just builder related.
4. Have one or two of your group's members be the key speakers in the group, but make sure that they identify all in the meeting and how they are each related to the building industry.
5. Make sure you have literature to leave with the legislator and have NAHB staff follow up with whatever you could not answer for the legislator(s).
6. Make sure you invite your Legislator(s) to one of your HBA events when they are home or on recess.

1. Be unprepared. Shooting from the hip is great in old TV westerns but not when our industry's survival is on the line.
2.. Discuss campaign contributions when talking about your talking points. Ever.
3. Do not let a fellow member(s) stray off message. It confuses the issues and the reason you set up the meeting will become lost in other discussions.
4. Forget to follow up with the legislator(s) on issues that were unresolved or he/she said would be taken care of (like co-sponsoring a bill!)

Best Regards,
Michael Kurpiel