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Attend the Capitol Conference: find out what you're missing.

I WAS FORTUNATE to start my career in the apartment industry with a company that was a member of the National Apartment Association. Thus, my introduction to the apartment industry included an introduction to the NAA. Like many people in our industry, the first NAA meeting I attended was the Education Conference & Exposition that is held every year in June. I make an effort each year to attend this event because of the educational offerings, the products and services displayed at the tradeshow, and the networking events that allow me to meet other industry professionals. Until this past year, the Education Conference was the only NAA meeting I had ever attended.

That changed last spring. For those not familiar with NAA's Capitol Conference, NAA brings apartment professionals together in Washington, D.C., each March to meet face to face with their representatives in Congress. Last year, as President-Elect of the Alabama Apartment Association, I was encouraged to attend the Capitol Conference. I'll admit I was excited to go to D.C. and be a part of the NAA's legislative efforts. However, I was terrified that the NAA expected me to sit in a member of Congress' office and eloquently articulate the NAA's legislative position. I am not a lawyer--I'm in the apartment industry. I didn't think I was qualified to attend this event.


When I arrived in D.C, I was pleased to learn that NAA conducts many events that are designed to educate its members on NAA's legislative efforts. I spent two days learning everything the NAA was trying to accomplish in Congress. On day three, it was time to visit the Hill and meet with my representatives in Congress.

Believe it or not, meeting with my representatives was easier than I anticipated because NAA provided talking points and printed materials to rely upon. By the end of the day, I had met with my senator and four congressmen from my state. It's hard for me to precisely explain or describe the feelings I had as I left the Hill that day, but I generally felt extremely satisfied. How many people in our country get the opportunity to lobby the U.S. Congress on behalf of their industry? I felt special. I felt important.

Before attending the Capitol Conference, I didn't think I was the type of person the NAA wanted to attend this event. Surely the NAA wanted someone more qualified, with more knowledge of the legislative issues. I couldn't have been more wrong. NAA and our industry need us all to attend the Capitol Conference. Our nation's leaders need to hear from us, their constituents. Our nation's leaders need to hear from apartment industry professionals.

I encourage each of you to attend the 2011 NAA Capitol Conference and I look forward to seeing you there.

NAA's Capitol Conference is March 13-16 in Washington, D.C. Mark your calendar now. Be part of the movement to encourage members of Congress to make multifamily housing apriority in 2011.

Beau Daniel

Regional Manager Foshee Management Company Montgomery, Ala.
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Title Annotation:Capitol Conference
Author:Daniel, Beau
Date:Dec 1, 2010
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