Participants' Reactions to the Legislative Conference
"The Legislative Conference is a value that cannot be understood without participation. At a time where the competitive industries continue to spend time and money to enhance their presence in the political arena, it is important that we build relationships with our congressmen and the chairpersons of the committees that directly influence our business. Business plans, small business, immigrant workforce and Social Security are some of the legislation that directly affects our businesses and employees.
MCAA members need this forum and need to participate to increase our presence in Washington. Your participation will help guide our industry. Without your participation, others will guide your industry!"
Executive Director, Masonry Institute of Michigan
"My favorite part of the Legislative Conference was to be able to see the difference between the White House and Capitol Hill as far as what their philosophies are on the different issues that our nation is faced with, especially the Social Security issue.
The White House is very positive; they say it's going to happen. Then you go to Capitol Hill and you listen to your representatives and senators, and they think maybe pieces of it are going to happen. And these people are members of the same party.
I just found that to be really interesting: From one end of the street to the other end of the street, what the difference in philosophy can be and the optimism of the individuals working for each branch of our government."
Mackie Bounds, Brazos Masonry, Inc.
MCAA Treasurer and member of Texas Masonry Association
"I think that one of the most important things that hopefully gets accomplished here is bringing back the joint relationship of the National Concrete Masonry Association along with the MCAA. The two groups had a mutual disagreement many years ago, and it's time to heal those differences and get back together and unite to heal the industry."
Mark Kemp, Superior Masonry Builders
MCAA Regional Vice President and Chairman of the Silica Task Force
"For any MCAA members that were unable to attend the Legislative Conference of 2005 ? especially my fellow California members ? take a moment and think about what it would take to motivate you to visit your elected officials.
Prior to this Conference, I did not have much faith in any elected official paying much attention to my letters, and I still feel the same. However, I'm now convinced that a personal visit to an elected official's office is a very powerful statement ? more than I ever realized. To my delight, I found them listening, asking questions, making an effort to understand our position, and then telling me how appreciative they were for the visit.
My message for all members is make an appointment with your elected officials, prepare your thoughts to be presented in a concise manner ? officials want to hear you but they have limited time ? and be prepared to answer any questions they may have.
It's hard to know for sure if your visit will make a difference when your elected officials cast their votes, but at least you'll have the gratification knowing you were heard and appreciated for your efforts ? let that be your motivation. How they vote depends on how well you, and others, sell the pitch."
Ron Bennett, E&S Masonry
Member, MCAA and the California Conference of Mason Contractors Association
"Being a part of an association lends itself to making a bigger impression with our representatives in government. We can have a larger voice and show our industry as a well-informed group that is paying close attention to what is ? or is not ? being done.
[Appearing as a large group in-person gives us] a much better chance of effecting changes and adoption of legislation. This helps our industry on many fronts."
Executive Director, Masonry Institute
"I think it was a very good conference. It was informative, and we had a lot of good feedback, especially from the representatives who spoke. They all had good things to say about our associations."
Frank Campitelli, Baltimore Masonry, Inc.
MCAA Vice President
About the Author
Masonry, the official publication of the Mason Contractors Association of America, covers every aspect of the mason contractor profession - equipment and techniques, building codes and standards, business planning, promoting your business, legal issues and more. Read or subscribe to Masonry magazine at www.masonrymagazine.com.