Editor’s Note: The following column by RV Industry Association (RVIA) President Frank Hugelmeyer emphasizes the “power of advocacy” and the importance of members meeting with congressional figures during RV Moves America Week.
Why does advocacy matter?
Because it is powerful, both as a practical matter and as an individual experience. Because it allows us to proactively influence our industry’s direction and it allows our individual voices to become amplified through the collective activism of advocacy. We do it to engage and influence decision makers, to direct outcomes and to increase our impact on legislation, regulations and national and international policy.
Although the RV Industry Association pursues its advocacy agenda 365 days a year, the advocacy events surrounding RVs Move America Week are the appointed time during which this agenda becomes our singular focus. Our government affairs team brings members from across the RV industry to Capitol Hill and federal agencies to engage policymakers so that we can create a favorable business environment, protect against onerous legislation and regulations and to make it easier for consumers to buy, drive and own an RV.
Advocacy Day has been a staple of Committee Week for nearly two decades and has become so successful that we have expanded it further into RVs Move America Week so that you can meet with even more members of Congress and policymakers from key federal agencies.
So, what are some of the results from last year’s meetings?
• More cosponsors and support for the National Park Restoration Act (S.2509 or H.R.5210) and the Recreation Not Red Tape Act (S.1633 and H.R. 3400).
• Increased trust and confidence between the RV industry and NHTSA.
• Interest from the Office of the vice president on the inclusion of a “Recreation Title” in any infrastructure package.
• Recruited seven new RV caucus members.
However, none of this would be possible without the direct participation of our industry partners from across the nation – from RV manufacturers and suppliers to dealers and campground owners. And that is why I want to personally encourage you to participate in this year’s Advocacy events during RVs Move America Week.
Highlights of this year’s schedule include:
• The much-anticipated release of the updated RVs Move America Economic Impact Study on Capitol Hill where you will hear from members of the House RV Caucus
• An expanded schedule of Capitol Hill and federal agency meetings that begins Tuesday afternoon and continues through Wednesday.
• A special two-hour meeting with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that will include discussions on key RV industry issues, as well as an opportunity to meet with a range of NHTSA officials
• Breakout issue trainings led by experts for each of the policy areas you will be discussing on Capitol Hill.
• Expanded meetings with key agencies including the Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce and the U.S. Trade Representative.
The advocacy events will be capped off with the 6th Annual RV Caucus Reception on the Hill, which will give you an opportunity to engage with fellow industry leaders and to meet with members of the RV Caucus.
So, why do we advocate? To grow the RV market.