In states like Indiana, NAHB members take their civic engagement to the next level and run for state or local office.
Building industry professionals elected to office "Raise the presence of issues related to home building and the construction industry," said Rick Wajda, Chief Executive Officer, Indiana Builders Association
. The state association has several NAHB Builder and Associate members serving in the state assembly.
But success didn't happen overnight. Wajda credits the NAHB government affairs team for guiding members from start to finish.
"You have to ask yourself why you want to run, understand the current (political) landscape and evaluate your relationships in the community," notes Wajda. Effective policymakers must be skillful negotiators. Wajda says the NAHB Federation provides a great "training ground" for future elected officials. NAHB members often work together to reach an agreement on issues related housing to advance the goals of the association.
Members also bring first-hand experience to a state assembly on issues related to housing, like regulatory affairs. Elected officials with backgrounds in construction can also encourage their peers to learn more about the housing industry by leading discussions on key issues or coordinating a visit to a construction site.
To help NAHB members navigate the campaign trail, NAHB created a comprehensive guide to running for local office
. The guide is helpful for individuals currently running for local office or campaign volunteers interested in learning more about the process.
For more information about the guide or NAHB's state and local advocacy efforts, contact Karl Eckhart