What do you think? Email me at cbowen@gie.net.

Let the record show that I don’t care who you voted for. It’s the avowed policy of Lawn & Landscape magazine and this editor that we are politically agnostic, especially so in the years when we elect a president.

And while I don’t care who you voted for, I do care that you did. Our country isn’t perfect – none is – but every election, we have a voice in how our city, state and country are governed, and the people who govern them.

It’s easy to get cynical and throw up our hands in disgust at the entire political process. (That’s not just me, right?) But I have actual proof that the system does work.

Earlier this year, Kevin Gilbride, executive director of the Accredited Snow Contractors Association, working with snow management contractors in the great state of Illinois, successfully lobbied the legislature there to pass a bill that prevents commercial property managers and building owners from shifting their own liability from a slip-and-fall accident to contractors.

This bill will protect thousands of snow contractors (many of whom also are landscapers in the fairer months) from frivolous lawsuits.

I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say that Kevin, the ASCA team and the contractors in Illinois have done tremendous work. They proved that a small group of people focused and working together can change something.

Landscapers, snow contractors and lawn care operators are great targets for regulation. Just think about all those crews driving heavy trucks, hauling trailers, using loud equipment with spinning blades, applying chemicals, climbing trees. It’s a dream come true for regulators.

I don’t care who you voted for. L&L is politically agnostic. But I do care that you did vote.

But, more importantly, the industry often lacks a unified voice in the halls of power, whether that’s Congress, the statehouse or the city council chambers.

That means you and the industry in which you make your living are easily pushed around, boxed in and told what to do by people who don’t always fully understand the impact you have on your community and the American economy.

So, regardless of who you voted for, or who’s in the White House come January 20, it’s vital that you get involved to speak up for yourself and your industry. No one else is going to do it for you.

So join your local association and the National Association of Landscape Professionals. Call your elected representatives and tell your story. You have a voice and you can make a difference. – Chuck Bowen