Inaugural Masonry Industry Legislative Conference Presented a United Masonry Industry
For the very first time this past April, the masonry industry came together in our Nation's Capitol to educate our elected representatives about the issues that face our industry. Never before has our industry united with representatives from the contractor, block, brick and stone segments working together to advance the common interests of our industry. In fact, never before has the Mason Contractors Association of America, the National Concrete Masonry Association, the Brick Industry Association and the Building Stone Institute unified to conduct a total industry event.
But on April 24 thru the 26th, the industry came together at the inaugural Masonry Industry Legislative Conference in Washington D.C. to present the views of the masonry industry to our representatives in Congress. During the conference, Mason Contractors Association of America members, along with supplier attendees, conducted Capitol Hill visits to personally meet with over 30 Congressmen and Senators from fifteen states to discuss eight issues ranging from the permanent repeal of the Death Tax to one of the hottest issues facing Congress...Immigration Reform. We spent half a day participating in appointment after appointment in face to face meetings to let Members of Congress know our views on the issues that they were debating in Congress. In many of these meetings, we were joined by our stone, block and brick friends to present to Congress a total masonry view on the issues. I personally have never before experienced such a unified effort on anything that we faced as an industry and I was encouraged by the total show of unity.
During our meetings, I was impressed by the depth of understanding that our elected officials had on the issues facing us. I was most impressed by how enthusiastic they were to hear our views of how the laws that Congress passed affected our abilities to run a small business.
It was amazing how influential a group of roughly sixty people were in communicating our masonry message to the decision makers who write the laws that we live with everyday, both personally and in our business lives. What struck me the most was the potential of how influential we could be if hundreds of interested mason contractors could converge on Washington to seek support for our issues. I would urge every local contractor chapter to send members to next year's Masonry Industry Legislative Conference. Until then, I would also urge all of you to write your U. S. Representatives and U. S. Senators to make your voices heard. As an industry, we cannot rest on the efforts of sixty people. Each one of us must become aware and educated on the issues facing our industry and how they impact our businesses. Then we must educate our elected officials to let them know how we want them to vote on those issues. We personally found how easy it was to make our view known and how interested they were to hear from us. It's up to you to continue the education process by writing your Congressman and your two U.S. Senators.
To make it easy, go to the MCAA Website at www.masoncontractors.org to find a briefing on the eight critical masonry issues that we talked to our elected officials about. In addition, you can find the link to your elected officials. Once you have that information, write your elected representatives to let them know what you think.
They want to hear from you.
About the Author
Frank Campitelli is the president and owner of Baltimore Masonry, Inc. Campitelli has volunteered countless hours for the masonry industry and spent eight years on the MCAA Executive Board, including two years as President from 2006-2008. He was presented with the C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award for exemplary leadership in advancing the masonry industry in 2009.