Making our Voices Heard
The last week of July 2013, TCIA members travelled to Washington for our biennial Legislative Day on the Hill. Held in conjunction with PLANET, TCIA members fanned out across the capital to meet with legislators on key industry issues, including: OSHA safety standards; funding for tree planting; seasonal worker visas; and reducing regulatory burdens, especially with regard to the Clean Water Act.
In all, members met with 18 Senators, Representatives and their staffers on behalf of the larger tree care industry.
The conference keynote speaker, Ari Shapiro, NPR’s White House Correspondent, gave attendees a behind-the-scenes and up-to-the-minute look at the budget battles in Washington. While budget battles and other national issues were the main topic of interest on Capitol Hill, TCIA members did have the opportunity to meet with elected officials and their staff on tree care related issues.
“It was great to see people from so many perspectives come together around improving tree care industry safety and regulation,” said Michael Galvin, Director, SavATree Consulting Group
Through grassroots efforts in the states and through direct action by TCIA’s lobbyists, staff and members, your industry’s trade association works to promote the interests of commercial and utility arboriculture. We lobby for two primary reasons: 1) to protect and expand your markets; and 2) to reduce your cost of doing business.
“Meeting key legislators who can make a positive difference in our livelihoods was a powerful experience,” noted Andy Felix, President of Tree Tech Inc.
Thank you to all the members who make the trip on behalf of the industry.
Why we Visit Washington
TCIA, through its membership, is organized as a trade association. What does that mean specifically, and how is TCIA different from other groups in the green industry? A trade association is an organization founded and funded by businesses.
TCIA's mission is to "advance tree care businesses." One of the primary ways to protect and advance the industry is through attempts to influence public policy in a direction favorable to our members. TCIA does this with contributions to the campaigns of political candidates through the Voice for Trees political action committee, by supporting or opposing particular legislation, and by working to influence the activities of regulatory bodies such as OSHA and EPA.
There are almost 8,000 national trade associations in the United States, but only one represents the interests of the tree care industry.
No one knows tree care better than the people who run businesses every day, and TCIA – through its dedicated members – will continue to educate Washington on the unique issues and challenges the industry faces.
If you would like learn more about how you can take a more active role in your industry's government relations efforts, please contact Mark Garvin at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (603) 314-5380.