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Tow Boss

Why Advocacy is More Important Now than Ever Before Legislative Advocacy for 2021 and Beyond By Brian J Riker

Brian J. Riker is a third-generation towman, with 26 years of experience in the ditch as a tow operator, and president of Fleet Compliance Solutions. He specializes in helping navigate the complex world of federal and state transportation regulatory compliance. He can be reached at brian.riker@fleetcompliancesolutions.net

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s I write this, we are in the middle of tightening COVID-19 restrictions, a tumultuous Presidential transition and an unprecedented economic slowdown that has disproportionately affected businesses globally. Some businesses are thriving while others are hanging on by a thread or have folded completely. As towers we are caught in the middle of this, some of us having record earnings while others are closing shop, all because of many factors beyond our control. To add to this stress we are also facing increasing regulations and compliance burdens while trying to figure out what the future of our company will look like. While we can’t do much, if anything, about the virus related business climate we surely can work on mitigating the effects of regulations on our businesses. For many folks February is just another winter month to get through, a time where the weather is starting to lighten up a bit, days are getting longer and spring is just around the corner. For lawmakers February is when things begin to kick into high gear as the incoming new legislators have finally settled into their groove, bills have ben proposed and work has begun to decide what the season will look like. This means that February is prime time to begin contacting your local, state and federal representatives to let them know who you are, what your opinions are and ask them to help shape the future you want to see for your business. For me February is a time to finalize my presentations for the upcoming TRAA Legislative Action Workshop in Washington, DC, held this year from March

14 • February 2021 | Towman.com

9th thru 11th. This is the event where the towing industry has the full attention of key members of the Federal government to educate and advocate for effective and favorable legislation to help the industry prosper and remain safe while meeting the needs of the motoring public. If the 2020 election cycle taught us one thing it is that every voice counts. While I will not get political and take sides, it is clear to me that for many 2020 was the year to stand up and make their opinions known. This same energy needs to find it’s way into the towing industry if we are to take charge of our own destiny rather than sitting back and letting things happen to us. With a new President and several new members of Congress, including newly appointed Chairs of key legislative committees, as well as changes in many state governments, it is important that the towing industry be represented by a strong and unified voice. The industry must begin educating these new lawmakers, reintroducing ourselves to returning lawmakers and building relationships with the newly appointed Administrators of various Agencies that affect the industry as a solid force to be reckoned with not a meek and mild group that can be ignored. As an industry we are critical to the safety and security of this nation and it is time we stand up and are noticed for the sacrifices we make daily. Without support from members, in large numbers, the efforts of your state and national Associations are ineffective at best, detrimental at worst. Legislators look at numbers when making a decision to support or oppose any issue. They

Profile for dortiz-towman

American Towman Magazine - February 2021