Meet the experts Cian

April 2013

GET TO KNOW AAMVA'S SENIOR MANAGER OF GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

Meet Cian Cashin, AAMVA's Senior Manager of Government Affairs. Think of him as AAMVA's voice on Capitol Hill and our liaison to the federal government. "What we do is we take the interests of our community and we take them to those leaders and ensure that their voice is heard," says Cashin. "A lot of times, what we'll do is go up with suggestions from the AAMVA community and we'll make sure their viewpoints are heard and what the feds are doing doesn't impede on what the states are doing."

Another major part of Cian's work is tracking legislation and analyzing it to see what kind of effect it could have on the AAMVA community—that's a tall order considering he's got his eye on around 1,000 pieces of state legislation at a time. He also compares what's going on in the states to the plans that our federal partners and Congress are working on.

Cian has been at AAMVA since 1997, coming to the association straight after graduating from college. "I had the opportunity to work with people who were leaders at the White House at that time, and they taught me a lot about what I needed to know to do the job effectively," says Cashin. "I realized that AAMVA had a unique opportunity in that I could be an issue lobbyist and I could take things that were important to me personally and carry those views into the federal policy arena—things like public safety and public service are very important to me, so AAMVA was a very logical fit for me."

Part of Cian's work includes crafting legislative alerts for the AAMVA community, keeping them informed about what is happening in Washington, DC and advising the membership on important legislation or regulations that have been introduced or published in the Federal Register. He also helps maintain a listing of relevant court cases to keep members apprised of cases affecting the AAMVA community

Like other experts on staff at AAMVA, Cian's main goal is helping AAMVA's members, and he most often does so by advocating on their behalf. "One of the things that happens more often than not is the Feds will come up with something that sounds like a very good idea from their viewpoint, and they'll push that legislation through a very quick process of events." Cian spoke up for AAMVA and our members last year, as Congress was discussing the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act, which contained some provisions that were potentially detrimental to our members, requiring people who drive 9- to 15-passenger vans to have a special endorsement on their license. "That would have cost the states millions of dollars, and would have been something that wasn't a proven safety benefit," says Cashin. "So AAMVA went up to Capitol Hill and told them that without doing further study on the demographic and understanding what they were affecting, they should look at the components of the bill more closely."

"What we do here is incredibly important to the overall safety community of the United States and Canada," says Cashin. "What we do is ensure that our membership does things in a uniform way across the states and that's something that every citizen can benefit from."