ASCE recently sent out what we call a “Key Alert” to members last week urging them to contact their members of Congress and support reauthorizing the bill that funds the nation’s airports. With legislation finally introduced in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), it’s the time for champions of civil engineering issues to roll up their sleeves and contact to their Members of Congress so that FAA programs don’t expire on September 30, 2023.
Wait a minute, it’s almost July. Why are we receiving a Key Alert now?
It is true that ASCE set its 118th Congressional priorities in January and over 242 ASCE members met with their federal delegations in-person at our annual Legislative Fly-In to discuss the importance of reauthorizing FAA programs before they expire on September 30. However, now we have bill text – the Senate’s FAA Reauthorization Act of 2023 and the House’s Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act were introduced this June and recently passed out of committee. ASCE Government Relations is expecting both bills to come to the floor very soon for a chamber vote, so it’s now time for ASCE members and infrastructure advocates to urge action on this issue.
What exactly is a Key Alert?
ASCE tracks federal and state legislation that could have a positive or negative impact on civil engineering on legislation affecting the profession. To help guide the public policy dialogue, ASCE Government Relations sets up email templates in ASCE’s online action center. Once you input your voting address information, you can then customize the message with your personal story and project examples, and the system will send it directly to your Members of Congress’ inboxes. While we make it easy by sending your message to the right place, it is essential that you tailor your message in your own voice and use local examples! Authenticity is key.
Do my Members of Congress actually want to hear from me?
Your Members of Congress primary role is solving constituents’—your—problems. According to the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF), Democrats (47%) and Republicans (52%) identified “solving constituents’ problems” as Senators’ and Representatives’ most important role.
CMF found that congressional offices also are in need of personalized and local information to Congress on pending legislation. 9 out of 10 (91%) congressional staffers surveyed said it would be helpful to have “information about the impact the bill/issue would have on the district or state.” However, only 9% report they receive that information frequently. Similarly, 79% said a personal story from a constituent related to the bill or issue would be helpful, but only 18% report they receive it frequently.
I’m new to advocacy. What do I do next?
The easiest first step to take is to sign up as an ASCE Key Contact. By doing so, you’ll automatically receive any upcoming Key Alerts . You’ll also start receiving every Friday This Week in Washington—a weekly e-newsletter for ASCE members only focused on federal and state public policy developments. You’ll also receive direct invitations to ASCE Key Contact Webinars — interactive webinars with timely updates on the bipartisan infrastructure law’s implementation, policy issues of importance to civil engineering, and advocacy tips.
Last, check out ASCE’s Advocacy page and consider:
• Exploring ASCE’s priority issues to advance the civil engineering profession and ASCE’s one-stop shop for understanding and tracking implementation of the bipartisan infrastructure law (password is ‘raisethegrades’);
• Researching legislation and regulatory activity happening in your state by visiting ASCE’s state legislative tracking.
• Applying to attend ASCE’s annual Legislative Fly-In—a two-day program in Washington, D.C. reinforcing the skills needed to meet with legislators, with keynote addresses by policymakers, presentations by public policy experts on the topics that attendees will carry to Capitol Hill.
ASCE Government Relations is here for you every step of the way. Have more questions or want to discuss more advocacy opportunities? Please reach out to email@example.com.