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August 2020 President’s Column

President's Comments
By: Steve Weitekamp

 



As we take the opportunity to speak to members around the state and around the country, we remain optimistic about our industry. We continue to live in a challenging time with major issues, including the most relevant to our industry—the Global Pandemic of COVID-19. Yet, with all the challenges, most Household Goods Movers tell us that they are busy. For many, finding enough quality movers to service the work is the issue. Sounds a lot like a traditional summer, but we know it is not. The California Moving and Storage Association (CMSA) continues to advocate on behalf of our members on issues related to Essential Service Providers and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) with state and local government and the U.S. Military, and will continue to work to provide our membership the most current information possible on these dynamic issues.

The cover article of this issue briefly describes a legislative success of the CMSA, and we wanted to take this opportunity to share with you our thoughts on Association Advocacy. I recently had a discussion with a member on the issue of advocacy and the different types that CMSA provides. I would divide our efforts into two distinct buckets that require unique approaches—Regulatory and Legislative. For both buckets there must first be an agenda and goals for the Association. These are developed by staff, board, committee and individual member discussions, and can also be the result of some member issue or a watchful eye on the horizon.

For Regulatory advocacy, we have had a long-term approach of suggesting that the Association be the forward-facing entity, and this approach has served the membership well for many years. Particularly relevant over the many years of CPUC regulation we told members if you have an issue let us talk with regulators first, as we don’t have a permit. While the last two years of household good moving regulation under the Bureau of Household Goods and Services (BHGS) have been very different, in the best possible way, than the CPUC. We still suggest the approach of using the association as a resource. The Association team of Staff, a legal counsel well versed in regulatory law, and lobbyist, have addressed many issues to the benefit of all permitted movers. In fact, the team in place today is made up of the same players who navigated and negotiated the successful transfer of regulation from the CPUC to BHGS. A road that appears very smooth today, started out with more than a few bumps and potentially even a washed-out bridge. So, if you find yourself with regulatory questions or issues, we stand ready to assist.

Legislative advocacy is different in that direct participation of the member is vital to a successful campaign. Once we have an action item, development of a piece of legislation, or support or opposition to an existing bill, we will look to CMSA members for support. CMSA and its team can draft bill language, develop position papers, and educate legislators and staffers on issues and concerns, but voices from CMSA members in the district frequently carry significant weight. We worked hard on AB 2460 and calls from members in important legislative districts made a critical difference.

We are pleased with our successes but know that there is always a new issue around the corner, and potentially a revisit of a bill that we previously stopped. The good news is that with your support we have a team in place to address legislative issues in the future. Just understand that we need you to be a part of that team.

 

 

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