“Lobbying” Isn’t a Dirty Word

Nick McLain
May 29, 2014

Capitol buildingFor as long as I can remember, I’ve somehow held both great interest in, and simultaneously, revulsion for, politics.

I graduated from college with a journalism degree. For most of the 7 years after graduation, I worked at newspapers and magazines covering various areas, including government/politics. I kept a healthy distrust for most everything in the political arena, politicians most of all. And for the most part, that skepticism served me well.

However, as I transitioned into this new role, helping lobby for CEDIA members’ interests, I’m discovering that a lot of cynicism was misguided. What I see is that politics is people. Sure, there are some who might be greedy and self-involved. But most are just folks trying to represent constituents to the best of their ability.

Having a Seat at the Table

CEDIA works with other associations in the low-voltage industry, and we’re all just plugging away, trying to stem the tide of other, more powerful industry groups from cutting our industry out from the work our home technology professionals have done for years.

It’s easy to be cynical about politics. It’s easy to write the whole process off and focus on other things. Nobody can be faulted for that.

However, those powerful industry groups that rival ours are active in the political arena — very much so. My colleague Darren Reaman, CEDIA Public Policy Director, saw a very good example of this when he attended a local town hall meeting where he lives. There was a gentleman attending the meeting, voicing his opinions even on matters that had nothing to do with his industry. He was wearing a shirt and a button indicating his proud membership in a union.

Now, I’m not saying that you need attend every meeting out there or always deck yourself out in CEDIA gear, but the commitment to CEDIA, and more important, to the low-voltage industry at-large, needs to be comparable to that individual. Darren and I will always work our tail off for you guys, but without your voice and participation, it makes winning our battles that much more difficult.

The First Step

Please consider joining the CEDIA Grassroots Legislative Network today. We’ll call on you if legislation in your state is problematic. We may ask you to call or email your legislator. Or perhaps we’ll need you to testify at a committee hearing. Or maybe even both. Together, we’ll make our industry heard.

If you sign up for the CEDIA Grassroots Legislative Network today (no cost, of course), I’ll even make sure to send you a CEDIA Government Affairs lapel pin, so that you, like the union gentleman I mentioned before, can proudly display your allegiance and pride in this great trade. Sign up today!



CEDIA blog posts are intended to provide general information and should not be regarded as legal opinions or advice.

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