Our members share with us the CEDIA benefits they value the most; those that help their businesses thrive year after year. In this post, we focus on CEDIA’s Government Affairs Program.
CEDIA’s Director of Government Affairs is part watchdog, part lobbyist.
As the head of a group that relies on member involvement, Darren Reaman watches on every state legislature in the U.S. Every morning, he reviews bills that have been introduced (or have begun moving) through government bodies that may affect the technology integration field in one manner or another.
“If it's a potentially negative bill, how do we amend that bill to make it less harmful for our members?” says Reaman.
"Thanks to Darren’s efforts, CEDIA folks were able to go in and say, ‘Wait, you can't shut out the low-voltage guys — you're not going try to run the market by yourselves."
On any given day, he is keeping tabs on about 250 pieces of legislation. To accomplish this Herculean effort, he relies on CEDIA’s members, a grassroots web of volunteers who help Darren get up to speed on what’s happening in their neck of the woods.
A concrete example of CEDIA’s Government Affairs success:
“In Dallas, there was a bill that came up where the electricians — high voltage — were effectively going to squeeze out us low-voltage guys. None of the people on that committee writing the ordinance were low-voltage integrators. They didn't understand, say, the bend radiuses of a category cable; didn't understand the disciplines involved. Thanks to Darren’s efforts, CEDIA folks were able to go in and say, ‘Wait, you can't shut out the low-voltage guys — you're not going try to run the market by yourselves.’ CEDIA’s efforts ensured that low-voltage installers didn’t need the same credentials as electricians in this locality.”
-Lewis Franke, LED Systems
Darren’s also available to answer integrators’ queries on licensing and other issues — especially critical if a firm does work in multiple states, or if they’re working in a niche that might have its own special set of circumstances:
“For people like me that are in the aging and healthcare space, I think it was really helpful when we got to talk to the government division. It’s always great to have somebody from CEDIA be able to navigate through issues that may affect us.”
-Laura Mitchell, Aging and Healthcare Consultant
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