I participated in Committee Week for the first-time last year, including the annual Advocacy Day. This was one of the best things I have had a chance to do in the industry.
For the week, I had a chance to sit in on several different committee meetings. In one of those, I heard Dr. Richard Curtain, who analyzes and predicts how many wholesale shipments of RVs there will be per year, break down how he sees the industry trending and how he predicts each year’s wholesale shipments based on statistical data.
During one of the luncheons, we heard from Axios journalist Mike Allen who spoke of the landscape of Capitol Hill with Donald J. Trump as our president. It was fascinating to hear from an insider about his take on our “tweeting” president. He joked that this was the first president that you never had to wonder what he was thinking.
One evening we went off site for a dinner and heard from Democratic Gov. Howard Dean and Republican Rep. Bill McCollum about many current issues facing America. They disagreed on many points, but it was refreshing to hear them speak and listen to each other and the respect they had for one another.
By far, however, the best thing about Committee Week is Advocacy Day. I had never advocated for anything on Capitol Hill. Being from Colorado, my group met with Sen. Cory Gardner, Sen. Michael Bennett’s staff, Jared Polis’s staff (he’s now the governor of Colorado), and Rep. Ken Buck who, in an election year last year, came out to speak to us once he heard there were “constituents” visiting.
We went through a training session the day before on the key issues we would be advocating for during the Congressional meetings. These issues included tariffs, campgrounds, and floorplan deductible interest for dealers. Sarah Neely from the RV Industry Association was my groups’ guide who made sure we were comfortable with the information and made it to our meetings on time.
It was great to be a part of the process and advocate on behalf of our great industry. I was a bit nervous, but realized I didn’t need to be an eloquent speaker. Heck, I would often look down at my notes, listen while others spoke, and then add to their talking points with some information.
The important thing was that we were there.
I had a chance to experience what makes our country great. We can go to our Members of Congress and advocate on behalf of the issues that concern us.
I have already booked my ticket and hotel for this year’s Committee Week and Advocacy Day, running June 2-6. If you haven’t considered participating, I hope that you will.
If you have considered it, I hope that you join me and about 250 others for this year’s event.
Publisher, RV PRO Magazine