Vice President, Legislation
As more of us are getting involved in legislative issues as per EPA dictates or local legislators behavior toward the use of our antique vehicles, it is incumbent upon us to learn how to deal with these issues and in doing so, preserve our hobby.
Most of you know AACA has a Legislative Policy and has created an infrastructure that we hope will enable us to get our members informed on what is happening in the hobby as to legislative matters. Recent articles in the Antique Automobile and at seminars have covered this infrastructure in detail, so I will summarize by saying that the infrastructure consists of three Regions, East, Central, and Western; that contains six Areas. The East Region has the Northeast, MidAtlantic and Southeast Areas; the Central Region contains the MidEast and MidWest; while the West Region contains the West Area. Your Region and Chapter Legislative Representatives are aligned in one of the six Areas and are coordinating information with a State point of contact. This organizations should allow us to pass information up and down the infrastructure as needed with minimum effort.
But the key to all this organization is YOU. In order to be effective, we need to be alert to the increasing number of changes occurring on what is becoming a weekly, and sometimes daily, basis. You need to work with your Legislative Representative to insure that current issues are resolved before they become unmanageable.
You should be aware that this infrastructure is designed to pass information across the entire country. As we cannot hope to be able to deal with
all the issues unique to given areas of the country; as only those in the area are aware of and know their unique situations. For example, the people in Los Angeles area are bounded on the east by a 14,000 foot mountain chain that severely restricts air movement et certain times, creating stagnant air buildup. The same does not apply to the areas in North Dakota where the open spaces allow the air to change frequently no matter what time of year. Only those people in those areas are familiar with the conditions and need to address their clean air problems differently.
This is borne out by the formation of groups to work with local Legislators in finding solutions to meet the Clean Air Standards. Recently groups in California, Arizona, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Florida and North Carolina have banded together to solve problems unique to their area. These have varied from the very basic approaches such as meeting with local Legislators and giving them the other side and sometimes educating both parties; to the extreme where Legislation has been passed on the State level to insure that Automobiles are not scrapped for credit to stationary emitters.
So, you see, we need YOU to get involved and help us make sure that State and local Legislators do not become aggressive and overstep the bounds of local and Federal guidelines. As, successes occur, share them with others so they may be aware of incidents that could occur in their areas. Work with your Legislative Representative and let them know if something is going on, that they may be aware of it as they monitor local legislation as well as staying in contact with the local EPA.
We at the National level will attempt to stay current on both the National and State levels and pass what information we have to the Region and Area Coordinators for dissemination, but please remember, we need YOU.