AMSA Fall Board Meetings 2015 Recap
Last week, we went down to Washington, DC for the American Moving and Storage Association's (AMSA) Fall Board Meetings. Our moving industry trade association meets in the nation's capital every year to discuss issues facing the industry, our 4,000+ members, and the community of 45 million Americans each year who move.
Our Executive Director of Business Development, Michael Clarner, and our Marketing Director, Jenna Weinerman, participated in a number of events, networked, lobbied the Senate and the House of Representatives, and much more. It was great to catch up with our fellow Supplier Member friends from EWS Group, IGC Software, DAS, Victory Packaging, Move, Inc, J.E. Kelleher, Custom Movers, CDS Moving Equipment, Tyga Box, Vanliner Insurance, ACI/Windfall, and Kentucky Trailer. Phew! We consider ourselves lucky to be in such great company on a regular basis – these folks are seriously the best in the biz.
Probably the most important activity we took part in during our trip was lobbying the government on behalf of all AMSA members and ProMovers. We supported effective government policies that protect consumers and allow AMSA members to provide great service. We had three main topics to discuss with New York representatives, Representative Carolyn Maloney and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
We asked both Representative Maloney and Senator Gillibrand to increase funding options for the Highway Trust Fund, which will reach critically low levels in November 2015.
We also discussed supporting the inclusion of a working group in both the House and Senate's versions of the highways and transit reauthorization bills. Many people will only move across state lines once-in-a-lifetime and since there is little out there to aid consumers, the process can be confusing. The requested working group will help develop recommendations on how to better convey critical information for people moving across state lines. The working group would be comprised of people with expertise in consumer affairs, education, and representatives of the household goods moving industry.
Finally, we asked Representative Maloney and Senator Gillibrand to support a permanent rollback of the driver Hours of Service 34-hour restart rule. The restrictive rules are more difficult for moving companies to comply with than typical trucking companies, and have already been weakened by two factors: a suspension of enforcement of two requirements related to the rule, and a GAO conclusion that there's no way to tell if the rule actually promotes driver health and safety. Rolling back the rule would allow drivers to rest during their natural sleep cycles, as well as allow them to retain some autonomy when it comes to what times they are on the road.
Representative Maloney and Senator Gillibrand's office staff were very receptive to AMSA's issues – so much so that we invited them to visit the Updater offices and see how we're changing the moving industry.
Overall, a productive trip to Washington, DC. See y'all in New Orleans!