In its 13-year history, the effect of SAN on shaping government policy has been enormous. SAN has successfully: enacted street rod and custom vehicle (including kit cars and replicas) registration and titling laws in 20 states; protected classic vehicles waiting to be restored on private property from confiscation; safeguarded legal off-road nitrous oxide use with SAN model legislation; defended enthusiast's right to use more durable aftermarket exhaust systems; junked state level "Cash for Clunkers" legislation; enacted legislation to lower taxes and fees for hobbyist vehicles; and advocated to ensure public lands remain open to responsible off-road recreation.
The current economic and legislative environment is emboldening the government to become more aggressive with their anti-auto hobby legislation. States are seeking new avenues for generating revenue and new ways of dictating what you can and cannot do with your vehicles. The message government is sending is clear-the hobby needs the SEMA Action Network now more than ever. Enlist now in this fellowship of auto enthusiasts, join SAN at www.semasan.com.
Lobby for the Hobby
By speaking out on issues that concern the automotive hobby, contacting our representatives, and working constructively with government officials, we have the power to protect our passion and keep it safe for future generations of auto hobbyists and enthusiasts. To get you started, we have prepared 10 tips you can use when contacting your representatives:
1. Develop and maintain relationships with your legislators and their staff
Make contact and develop productive relationships with individual legislators. It is the most effective form of grassroots lobbying. It's also important to develop a relationship with the staff who monitors ongoing legislative and community initiatives.
2. Educate legislators about our hobby and our issues
Educate your legislator about the hobby and emphasize the positive impact it has on the community.
3. Maintain a positive attitude
Develop a positive relationship with your legislator. The next time an enthusiast-related issue comes up, that same legislator may be needed to support your cause.
4. Stay informed
Keep up-to-date on the legislative issues that affect the hobby in your state. Share this information with fellow enthusiasts.
5. Get involved in the community
Join with other community groups to build positive exposure. Holding charity runs and fund-raisers provides a great opportunity to show local residents and politicians that auto clubs are a positive community force.
6. Build relationships with the local media
Contact local newspapers and radio/TV stations to publicize car shows, charity events, etc.
7. Invite officials to participate in your events
Give legislators a platform to reach an audience of constituents.
8. Build an automotive coalition
Create coalitions to add strength in numbers and ensure that the rights of all vehicle enthusiasts are represented. Actively participating in regional and statewide councils will develop a unified message to lawmakers. These types of pro-hobbyist groups can be an influential political force.
9. Spread the word
Take this information to your next club meeting, cruise night, or post it on your online forums. Share this information with other enthusiasts who are willing to help lobby for the hobby.
10. Register to vote
Exercise your right to support pro-hobby candidates. Constituents are an elected official's number one priority. Without you and your vote of support, they would not be in office, so make sure you're registered and get out and vote.