Advocacy: It is Our Responsibility to Our Members

Mar 1, 2024 | Industry

By Sandy Blalock • ARA Executive Director

Did you know that associations often play a key role in influencing policy and legislation through their advocacy efforts, especially when they take their government relations work beyond traditional lobbying?

Often the mission of professional trade associations like ARA is primarily educational and informational. While we focused on developing professional excellence with programs like our Certified Auto Recycler (CAR), ARA University, working committee groups, and our Annual Convention & Expo, we are also highly engaged in advocacy for our industry.

We utilize and leverage the expertise of staff, our Executive Committee and Board of Directors and members by participating in many conferences, working groups, regulatory agency meetings and others to promote our industry. We are constantly working to ensure that professional auto recyclers are not restrained from selling their products for the best and highest use and most profitable for their businesses.

Regulators and other government agencies have a long-lasting interest in the public policy issues on which many professional organizations and their members are focused. Tracking legislative and regulatory issues in relevant areas is not just about keeping our members well informed of regulatory and legislative agendas; it also offers our members meaningful opportunities to provide input to decision and policymakers not only at the federal level but also at the state and often local level. We must strive to be proactive, taking the initiative, rather than reactive, as it is crucial to be forward-facing rather than fighting potentially harmful legislation or policy.

I want to assure our members and the professional automotive recycling industry that ARA has turned our advocacy into action, further driving our message to the forefront where we are now not just part, but in the center of many discussions.

The priorities identified during our strategic planning last year give us a clear path and direction to achieve on behalf of our members, areas of primary concern and importance. We will explore ways to incentivize carbon credit utilization by identifying statutory and regulatory opportunities and identify educational funding opportunities in support of our carbon footprint.

We are more than half-way through Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s (WPI) study of our industry’s negative carbon footprint and will have additional insight and information that will provide us with quantified information to share with industry, strategic partners, consumers, policy makers at all levels of government and environment agencies and groups that will showcase the carbon savings of utilizing recycled original equipment parts in automotive repairs.

We have taken a leadership position in furthering the development of high-voltage battery policies, thanks in large part to our VP of Strategy, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Emil Nusbaum’s work on this for ARA. It will continue to be important that we increase collaboration and grassroots activity with state members, affiliates and lobbyists to strengthen state level participation in our efforts to continue building infrastructure of our support for our affiliate members.

I want to assure our members and the professional automotive recycling industry that ARA has turned our advocacy into action, further driving our message to the forefront where we are now not just part, but in the center of many discussions. We will continue to expand ARA’s position as a thought leader on policy issues relating to the professional auto recycling industry

as we strive to continue to build our action plan of advocacy for ARA members.

ARA has your back! 

Reach Sandy Blalock at sandy@a-r-a.org. Share your thoughts pertaining to the advancement of professional automotive recycling. Your letter could be published in an upcoming issue.

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