Are YOU an Advocate? (+ How to Be a Good One)

Darren Reaman | Oct 17, 2022

Associations advocate on behalf of their members and industry. CEDIA is in a unique position to stand up for 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 leader. Advocacy works best when it comes from you and people like you in your community. CEDIA knows and supports this 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.

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.  

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!