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Are You an Advocate? (Plus, How to Be a Good One)

Why integrators need to advocate on technology issues throughout the legislative process.

Associations advocate on behalf of their members and industry. CEDIA is in a unique position to stand up for the smart home technology industry — including your business. We can’t do it alone, though, at least not if we want to have the most impact. Nothing replaces constituent outreach to their legislative leaders. Advocacy works best when it comes from you and people like you in your community. CEDIA knows this and supports the process in any way we can.

Members can and should advocate on technology issues throughout the legislative process, whether it’s at the local, state, or federal level.

Advocacy Breakfast [anel at CEDIA Expo 2022
This year’s CEDIA Advocacy Town Hall took place at CEDIA Expo 2022, championing community involvement at the local legislative level to combat burdensome overregulation. Hosted by Daryl Friedman, global president and CEO of CEDIA, the event featured a discussion led by Darren Reaman, CEDIA director of government affairs, and included Leon SooHoo, president and CEO of Paradyme, and Will Breaux, business development at (all shown here from left to right). Photo by John Staley.
Over the years, lawmakers have passed laws that hinder the innovation your business can provide simply because they weren’t properly educated about our industry. In theory, a proposed law might sound useful, but there are often sections and wording that may harm an industry.

As an expert in your field, you’re the perfect person to help your state and local leaders understand the technology issues impacting our industry. CEDIA members are ideally positioned to be advocates because they have passion and real-world examples to illustrate key issues and how it will impact all of us.

Related: CEDIA’s Government Affairs – Step Up and Let Your Voice Be Heard

People often say that it’s important to know who your legislators are, which is true; however, it’s more important that they know who you are and what your business does in the industry. When you build relationships with leaders in your community, your visits and communications have a far greater impact on issues that matter to you and your business.

The biggest question is how to begin building these relationships. How do you become the best advocate you can be?

1. Be proactive and reach out to state and local leaders.

Introduce yourself and your business — let them know what you do and how it affects your community. Explain why support for technology, innovation, and the smart home technology industry is critical to keep the community moving forward.

2. Offer to be a resource for future legislation.

A couple of the most prominent issues that continue to come up are occupational licensing and the National Electrical Code. You know your business best, which means you can offer your experience for a number of relevant issues as they come up in the legislative process.

3. Get engaged using CEDIA’s Digital Advocacy Tool.

Use the tool to reach out to your state and federal legislative leaders on issues that mean the most to you and our industry.

Advocacy may not seem as exciting or important as other areas of your business or CEDIA membership, but it’s one of the best ways to use your voice to do good. This work often impacts future work and projects. Thank you for getting involved!