For the nearly 20 years I’ve penned this column, I’ve stayed away from politics for the most part. At least when it comes to taking a partisan stand on any issue. My one core value when it comes to politics tracks with the brand you find on the cover of this publication: Roofing Contractor. Our editorial mission has always been to deliver information for and about roofing contractors and the roofing industry at large, to help contractors succeed in their roofing business.
The reality for the roofing industry, however, is that issues driven by partisan politics always have a direct impact on the roofing industry. Many issues roofing contractors face are local as you must deal with your building officials. Others come from the state legislatures, such as insurance and licensing laws — or a lack of licensing laws in many states.
Then there’s the federal government. It doesn’t matter if your state and local authorities understand your business and are willing to work with you for sensible rules and regulations. No matter where you are in this country, your business is impacted by what happens in our nation’s capital.
Therefore, even though we all have our own points of view on politics and politicians, all of us with interests in the roofing industry have very similar concerns when it comes to taxes, health insurance, OSHA, support for technical workforce training initiatives, and immigration reform. And that’s just to name a few of the more pressing issues; there are certainly more.
In my view, no one issue is more frustrating than immigration. It seems that sensible reform should be on the top of the agenda in Washington. From my perspective, it’s the one issue that’s talked about the most and dealt with the least. I don’t have a solution, but know that if immigration reform is not forthcoming, and if “draining the swamp” is going to include wholesale deportations, we may not have much of a roofing industry left to worry about soon.
On March 6 and 7, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) is leading a group of roofing professionals to Capitol Hill for what it has termed the first ever “Roofing Day.” The goal is to have 1,000 roofing professionals from all over the country visit congress to speak to their representatives about issues of concern to the roofing industry. Not surprisingly, the initiative is being spearheaded by NRCA CEO Reid Ribble, a former three-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Wisconsin.
Just as he described from the Best of Success stage in Tucson last fall when announcing the 2018 Roofing Day, Ribble explained the purpose is, “…to come to Washington and let policymakers hear from us directly on the issues that affect our lives.” During his tenure in Washington, Ribble learned the power of constituents showing up to visit their representatives in person. He goes on to say, “The only way that we can solve our problems in Washington is if we take ownership of it.”
I agree and plan to attend Roofing Day to call on my senators and congressman. I urge you to join me in doing the same. To learn how, visit www.nrca.net/roofingday.