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September 2021 President’s Column

President's Comments
By: Steve Weitekamp

 



September is in full swing, and most movers remain actively engaged with what is now considered our industry’s longest peak season. Chairman John Chipman and I began the month making in-person presentations at the Twin Counties and San Diego chapter meetings. On behalf of our Chairman and I, thank you to all that took the time to support their chapter. A special thank you goes out to Ed Coelho, Twin Counties Chapter president and Andria Skiff San Diego Chapter president for planning in-person meetings. It definitely felt good after well over a year to spend quality time with members, both at their businesses and at chapter meetings. Chipman shared that a renewed sense of the importance of what we do is a “silver lining” of the pandemic. I agree. With this being the 20th anniversary of 9/11, and my term as CMSA Chairman, I remember a similar feeling of value and pride for the work that we do in the months that followed that horrible unprovoked attack on the homeland and our way of life.

A recent New York Times headline worth sharing stated, “The World is Short of Everything. Get Used to It!” I know that this quote resonates with our membership and shortages and capacity issues at every level continue to create challenges in almost everything we do.

The cover article of this issue states, in a somewhat matter of fact way, that AB 224 (Daly) was, like its predecessor AB 2460 (Daly) stopped from becoming law. What needs greater emphasis is the fact that the CMSA was the only group in opposition to either of these bills and stood against politically popular and well financed opposition. Without the CMSA members long-term support of our Association with its staff, lobbyists, and attorneys this would have never been possible.

Without the Association’s engagement during the transfer of regulation from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), the bill sponsors–California Trucking Association (CTA) and the Teamsters would have never had to even taken action in support of the large out-of-state freight haulers they represent. While we have been concerned for a number of years about the encroachment of freight companies and others into moving services without regulation under the guise of “disruptors,” the CPUC focused most of their energy and resources on the low hanging fruit that was the permitted carrier. The CPUC was not willing to even discuss incorporating other segments that moved used household goods on the public highway for a fee in their regulation. Thankfully, the transfer of regulation to DCA created an opportunity for us to share our position on fair and equitable regulation. Our new regulators at the Bureau of Household Goods and Services (BHGS) agreed with CMSA that any business that provides the services clearly described in the definition of a permitted mover in the California Business and Professions code must be permitted and in compliance with the rules and regulations of the Household Movers Act.

This position set in motion actions that caused the freight/disruptors to eventually take legislative action to exempt themselves from regulation (two times so far) after several entities receiving notices from BHGS for operating without regulation or BHGS consumer protection. Fortunately, their attempts to negotiate with the Bureau to maintain their unregulated status quo were unsuccessful. quo, While I could write a small book about this issue, I will conclude this article by stating that I have great difficulty understanding how an elected official, particularly from the democrat ic majority, could in good conscience, take a position in favor of an out-of-state large business to the detriment of California small business. And even more untenable, do so in a legislature that touts their concern for consumers but supports a bill that strips those selecting these entities for service of even the most basic of consumer protections.

 

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