January-February 2016

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Capitol Hill Corner Getting Involved! By Patrick Atagi, NWPCA Vice President, Advocacy & External Affairs T he strength of the NWPCA is its members and those who work in the wooden pallet industry. I may be a voice for you in Washington, DC, but the true power of this organization is back home in the states with you – politics are local. My ability to get into doors that line the halls of Congress relies heavily on you and your connections. You may say, "I don't know any Members of Congress," but you do. You are their constituency. You provide jobs for people in their home cities, counties and state, who in turn vote. Your businesses and jobs provide revenue for cities, counties, state and federal government. You work in their districts and states. You are important, very important. Important people in the pallet industry include owners like Tracie Sanchez, president of Lima Pallets. Lima Pallets hosted tours for Congressman Jim Jordan, House of Representative Matt Huffman (Ohio), Supreme Court Justice Judith French (Ohio), and Lt. Governor Mary Taylor (Ohio). Lima Pallets has also been written about in several local newspapers on their outreach efforts. As Sanchez noted, "It is so important for pallet companies to become active in their local communities. We can make a difference as job creators to help local economies." They also help the industry through their education of politicians at the local, state and federal level. We've highlighted the Congressional mill tours held in 2015, and encourage you to think about hosting a tour during this election year. Members of Congress are eager to seek venues to be seen with their 'people.' You in turn can highlight the good your business does in the local community. Even if you don't hold a mill tour, getting involved politically helps your business. Last year, with the efforts of NWPCA members on Capitol Hill and Congressional mill tours, the General Services Administration (GSA) changed their policy to note the sustainability of wooden pallets and their importance in the supply chain, and not to be discriminated against when compared to plastic pallets. Getting involved works. PC INSIDE NWPCA If you are interested in conducting manufacturing plant tour visits for Members of Congress, NWPCA prepared a booklet in conjunction with NAM (National Association of Manufacturers) to help you organize the event, along with check-lists and sample media releases for use. Download a copy of the NWPCA Congressional Plant Tour Guide at (under the "Advocacy" tab) or contact Dr. Brad Gething at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC discussing the Softwood Lumber Agreement. U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) before NWPCA and coalition members talking transportation and trade. 16 PalletCentral • January-February 2016

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