NARI members visit Capitol Hill

NARI members from NARI Metro DC, Greater Baltimore Area NARI, NARI Mid-Maryland and NARI of Central Virginia were part of NARI's inaugural Capitol Hill event.

NARI members from NARI Metro DC, Greater Baltimore Area NARI, NARI Mid-Maryland and NARI of Central Virginia were part of NARI’s inaugural Capitol Hill event.

NARI members from NARI Metro DC, Greater Baltimore Area NARI, NARI Mid-Maryland and NARI of Central Virginia made visits to several congressional offices last week, as a trial run to a broader lobbying day for NARI.

NARI's lobbyists prep the group for its visits on the Hill.

NARI’s lobbyists prep the group for its visits on the Hill.

“We were briefed by our lobbyist, Randi Fredholm Hutchinson, on how lobbying serves as an effective means to connect with our representative’s offices and allows the voice of the people to be heard,” says Mason Hearn, from NARI of Central Virginia. “We also spent time going over ‘etiquette’ and building expectations regarding how we would likely be received and what to expect. Sen. Tim Hutchinson was also in attendance and gave us a first-hand view from the member (as-in, member of Congress) side.” In addition, former Sen. Albert Wynn joined them on some of the meetings.

Randi Hutchinson and Sen. Tim Hutchinson are NARI lobbyists from Dickstein Shapiro.

NARI members were also provided with talking points on NARI’s issues (which you can see on NARI’s Government Affairs page online). The four issues they focused on in these congressional meetings were:

  • OSHA Workplace Silica Exposure Rulemaking (oppose)
  • Expansion of the EPA RRP Rule to include commercial and public buildings (oppose)
  • Energy Efficiency incentives (Shaheen-Portman Bill, support)
  • Energy efficiency Tax credit extenders (support)

After lunch, the group met with four senators and four representatives: Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sen Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA).

“It was expected that the first two issues would be more of an ideological ‘uphill battle’ with the seven democratic members we visited,” Hearn said. “The last two issues surrounding energy-efficiency were more bipartisan-supported, but would be surrounded by political issues of timing. There was some question as to whether these bills might make the floor in the lame duck session.”

NARI members met with eight congressional staffs to discuss several of NARI's federal advocacy priorities.

NARI members met with eight congressional staffs to discuss several of NARI’s federal advocacy priorities.

In each meeting, one NARI member was appointed to lead the discussion with staff based primarily on being part of that congressional leader’s constituency. Those staff members were mostly senior staff and/or policy advisors to the representative or senator. “All were very receptive and appreciative of our time to convey our interests to them,” Hearn says. “Most noted that they appreciated the opportunity to hear from their constituents, and those voices were always thoughtfully considered as the member creates policy through the Congressional process.”

Hearn participated in the event because he wanted a better understanding of the policy-making process at the federal level.

“Congress is responsible for making laws and regulations which inevitably affect our daily living, particularly as business leaders,” he said. “In our representative democracy, it is the duty of the people to communicate their interests such that our representatives may truly understand and hopefully act in the best interests of their constituents. With all of the issues facing these representatives, it is impossible for them to thoroughly understand each concern.  As NARI members, we were there to assist our congressional representatives in their understanding of the issues, as well as presenting the impact to small businesses and particularly, our industry.”

Sixteen NARI members and one chapter executive participated in this Capitol Hill drive-in, including Jane Neboshynsky, from Greater Baltimore NARI.

“I believe that as members of NARI, we owe it to the industry to bring our knowledge to various governmental agencies that regulate our activities,” she said. “When NARI proposed a drive-in to help inform and educate members of Congress through their staff, I was eager to join the group. It was an adventure that I hope many NARI members will have the opportunity to participate in.

“The staff members of our senators and representatives listened and were responsive to the points NARI brought to them. Throughout the day, we spoke about the issues the remodeling industry faces in regard to the rules and regulations being set forth by our government. Yes, I did learn that there are a lot of tunnels under the Capitol, but, more importantly, I learned that NARI does have a voice in Washington.”

One of the things that Hearn found interesting, though not surprising, was the reception to the various issues, depending on the office’s political party, as well as whether that office was the Republican-majority House or Democrat-controlled Senate.

“Without being unreceptive, I noticed that there was a ‘cooler’ reception by the Democrats to putting a damper on the more-stringent OSHA and EPA regulations,” he said. “Those same staffers very much brightened up when we presented support for energy-efficiency legislation and, for the most part, avowed their support. Some had reservations whether tax credits and extensions would realistically be introduced or pass in the lame duck session.”

Position papers and fact sheets about the various issues of concern were left with each congressional office. NARI members will follow-up by writing letters to the staffers within a week.

A big thanks to the NARI members who participated in this inaugural event:

Mark Chaikin, The Window Place of Northern Virginia
Christopher Dietz, UDCP, Dietz Development LLC
Mark Fies, Synergy Design & Construction
Steven Larsen, CR, Larsen Design/Build Associates LLC
David Merrick, MCR, UDCP, Merrick Design and Build Inc.
Cynthia McClure, MCR, GCP, Grossmueller’s Design Consultants Inc.
Joe Normandy, NARI Metro DC
Peter Pagenstecher, CR, Pagenstecher Group Inc.
Mike Patterson, CR, Patterson Builders-Remodelers LLC
Gregory Smith, CKBR, Greg Smith Company Inc.

NARI of Central Virginia
Mason Hearn, HomeMasons
Kyle Martin, CR, B.K. Martin Construction Inc.
Taylor Moore, E.T. Moore Manufacturing
Charles Shade, GCP, UDCP, C.L. Shade Drafting

NARI of Mid-Maryland
Steve Klitsch, Creative Concepts Remodeling Inc.

Greater Baltimore Area NARI
Nicholas Neboshynsky, Improvement Zone
Jane Neboshynsky, Improvement Zone

To see more images, visit NARI’s Facebook page (photos courtesy of Mason Hearn, Kyle Martin, CR, Taylor Moore and Christopher Dietz, UDCP).

| 7/1/2014 12:00:00 AM | 0 comments
Add Blogs to RSS FeedAdd Blogs to RSS Feed

Recent posts

No recent posts

Post archive

June 2022(2)
May 2022(2)
April 2022(2)
March 2022(3)
February 2022(1)
January 2022(5)
October 2021(2)
August 2021(3)
July 2021(1)
June 2021(2)
May 2021(1)
March 2021(2)
February 2021(1)
December 2020(1)
November 2020(2)
October 2020(2)
September 2020(3)
July 2020(3)
May 2020(2)
March 2020(2)
January 2020(2)
November 2019(1)
October 2019(4)
September 2019(3)
August 2019(3)
July 2019(5)
June 2019(3)
May 2019(5)
February 2019(3)
January 2019(3)
December 2018(1)
November 2018(3)
October 2018(2)
September 2018(3)
August 2018(3)
July 2018(4)
June 2018(6)
May 2018(3)
April 2018(2)
March 2018(3)
February 2018(1)
January 2018(1)
November 2017(4)
October 2017(5)
September 2017(6)
August 2017(4)
July 2017(2)
June 2017(2)
May 2017(4)
April 2017(6)
March 2017(3)
February 2017(6)
January 2017(6)
December 2016(3)
November 2016(4)
October 2016(8)
September 2016(5)
August 2016(3)
June 2016(3)
May 2016(5)
April 2016(4)
March 2016(5)
February 2016(4)
January 2016(4)
December 2015(3)
November 2015(4)
October 2015(9)
August 2015(4)
July 2015(3)
June 2015(7)
May 2015(2)
April 2015(5)
March 2015(9)
February 2015(6)
January 2015(7)
December 2014(2)
November 2014(7)
October 2014(5)
September 2014(3)
August 2014(5)
July 2014(6)
June 2014(7)
May 2014(3)
April 2014(5)
March 2014(8)
February 2014(7)
January 2014(7)
December 2013(6)
November 2013(8)
October 2013(5)
September 2013(4)
August 2013(4)
July 2013(6)
June 2013(8)
May 2013(8)
April 2013(15)
March 2013(6)
February 2013(11)
January 2013(8)
December 2012(6)
November 2012(7)
October 2012(20)
September 2012(14)
August 2012(6)
March 2012(4)
January 2012(1)
April 2011(2)