In less than a month, Virginians will step into the voting booth to elect the 140 legislators who will help lead our Commonwealth for the next two years.
Tuesday, Nov. 5, is Election Day. This year, every seat in the House of Delegates and Senate is open, and many will be filled by new legislators who know very little about your business.
Having had the privilege of working with this association for more than 30 years, I’ve observed Virginia’s political landscape pretty closely. Unfortunately, in recent years, I’ve seen a diminishing interest in the political climate.
That’s not good for VADA. In the 1990s, our members clearly understood how the General Assembly worked – and how legislators’ actions could make their business life more or less pleasant, depending on whom was elected.
Advocating for dealers
Take a look just north, where our friends in Maryland operate with a state legislature that is less friendly to dealer issues. Our peers regularly tell us how much more difficult it is for them to get important bills passed – or even brought up for discussion.
Being engaged in the political process helps to ensure a place for your voice. Of course, your VADA team is committed to serving as your advocate with state leaders. We routinely work with candidates and legislators on both sides of the aisle on new laws that are critical to you and your business.
But you need to start with one simple task: You need to vote.
Don’t take your right for granted
Take time now to look at the candidates in your part of the state. You might even consider meeting with them to ask questions and share your concerns and observations as both a business and community leader.
Just as important is finding ways to support your people in having the time to vote. Many of our dealer groups employ large numbers of employees, and you should offer flexibility for them to get to the polls during voting hours. Of course, you can’t tell them how to vote, but you can remind them to vote for candidates who are pro-business and pro-dealer.
VADA’s political action committee helps to identify and support candidates who align with dealer needs. Over the years, we have supported candidates on both sides of the aisle, but they all have one thing in common: They are pro-business and pro-dealer.
Be sure to understand the rules for making personal or corporate donations on your own. We’ll also be sharing more in the coming months about how you can help once the General Assembly convenes early next year.
Voting is an obligation
Until then, remember that many Americans have sacrificed much for our right to vote. We need to appreciate and respect that fact.
Fall is a wonderful season for watching football, picking apples and observing the leaves changing colors. On Nov. 5, it’s also voting season. Please make sure you take time to vote and encourage your people to exercise this right. In January 2020, we will be working with a new General Assembly, and we hope to find many lawmakers who will respect and listen to our issues.
More to read in this issue
Our October issue features many other important articles, including:
- Dennis Ellmer earned accolades from Toyota’s president for a groundbreaking program that trains inmates as automotive techs.
- Understand the rules for personal or dealer campaign donations.
- Dealertrack expansion will help you streamline registration and titling.
- Make sure any release completely resolves a customer issue.
- A recap of our visit to NADA's Washington Conference.
- In today’s online world, make sure your employee handbook is up with the times.
- In this one case, ignore the fine print that the current Form I-9 is expired; it’s still your go-to tool.