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Monday, 30 March 2015 00:00

ARA's 8th Annual Hill Day and State Legislative Summit Allows Industry Members to Educate Congress

The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) held their 2015 Hill Day and State Legislative Summit in Washington, DC on March 16 and 17, and over the course of those two days, association members from across the country had the opportunity to educate Members of Congress and their staff about the industry. Participants also received current information on ARA’s issues and activities as well as enjoying some time networking with their automotive recycling peers from other areas of the U.S. and even other countries.

ARA members gathered in the nation’s Capitol to meet with members of Congress and their teams to discuss issues related to the Automotive Recycling industry for their 8th Annual Hill Day and State Legislative Summit.

 

When the State Legislative Summit began on March 16, attendees received information on recent legislative successes and current problems facing auto recyclers by various state legislatures. Attendees identified key issues impacting the automotive recycling industry in a discussion led by Norman Wright, ARA’s Past President and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman, and Jessica Andrews, ARA’s Director of State Government Affairs. Andrews identifies some of these issues as “access to salvage and end-of-life vehicles, efforts to incorporate NMVTIS reporting and enforcement into state statute, building relationships with industry stakeholders and state governmental agencies, and the importance of keeping an eye on local and city regulations.”

This discussion led to a sharing of resources, such as legislative language, past experiences and issue strategies. The group’s ultimate goal, according to Andrews, was “enhancing ARA’s grassroots advocacy structure.”

Later that afternoon, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John A. Boehner (R-OH) made a special guest appearance to speak to ARA members about major issues impacting the nation, and he encouraged attendees to recognize the importance of being aware of and staying involved with concerns facing their own businesses and the professional automotive recycling industry as a whole.

According to Michael E. Wilson, ARA's CEO, “Speaker Boehner entertained questions by the very appreciative group for over 30 minutes. It was an historic moment for our industry to be the focus of the Speaker’s remarks, and ARA members now know that their issues are understood at the highest level of the U.S. Congress."

On March 17, ARA proudly held their annual Hill Day event with members representing 23 states engaging in more than 70 congressional meetings, 25 of which were scheduled with actual Members of Congress. These elected representatives repeatedly stressed the importance of programs like ARA’s Hill Day to help them make informed decisions on policies impacting the automotive recycling industry and the use of recycled OEM parts.

According to Wilson, “In addition to ARA members talking with their congressional delegations about the general industry issues and local concerns, they also educated policymakers about the need for auto manufacturers to provide parts data to all stakeholders in the automotive parts supply chain, especially in light of the ongoing and increasing recall campaigns. In the coming weeks, ARA staff will be following up on the relationships that ARA members initiated and cultivated during these events.”

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