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Advocacy / Coronavirus

May 14, 2020

Midstream Report on ACEC’s R3 Virtual Advocacy Campaign

To the ACEC Community,

We’re about halfway through our virtual advocacy campaign to build Congressional support for an infrastructure-first legislative agenda and it’s going gangbusters. While nothing can match the impact of our face-to-face meetings in Capitol Hill offices, our members have taken up the challenge of virtual grassroots lobbying and are bringing our message to their elected representatives.

As of last night, 1,906 members had sent a total of 5,925 messages to House and Senate members urging them to support an economic recovery agenda that includes significant and sustainable investments in the nation’s critical infrastructure and regulatory reforms to move projects forward expeditiously.

Members have held or scheduled 30 meetings with Senators, U.S. Representatives, and Congressional staff over the past three weeks and have invitations out for two-dozen more. Iowa members had the opportunity to speak with both Senator Joni Ernst and Senator Chuck Grassley; ACEC Mississippi spoke with Senators Roger Wicker and Cyndi Hyde-Smith on Tuesday and have extended meeting invitations to all of their members of Congress; and South Carolina members spoke with Senator Tim Scott yesterday and I will be on a call with them next week to make our case to Senator Lindsey Graham.

It’s a great time to connect with Members of Congress to make sure our voices are heard on issues that are not only evergreen for us, like infrastructure investment, but also in insuring we aren’t left behind at a time when engineering is more essential than ever.

Our MO executive directors deserve a special shout-out in this campaign because they have led the way in organizing and coordinating these meetings. But it hasn’t been simple for them. Jockeying for position when so many interest groups are scrambling for support is a difficult task.

That’s why we’ve spread out our campaign over six weeks, to give our members the space and flexibility to reach out to their congressional delegations at a time that works for them and that works for Members of Congress.

A silver lining in all of this is that there’s anecdotal evidence that members are actually becoming more politically involved during this crisis. ACEC North Carolina’s Jim Smith says he’s seen a host of new members writing letters and joining in on calls, and in one of our virtual medium-size firm roundtables, several firm leaders said that members of their staff were becoming more politically active. That is a long term investment in the future of engineering that needs to be made today, cementing the relationships that will grow in value over the years.

If you haven’t done so already, I urge you to advocate for our industry. We have lots of tools and resources for you to get started on our Rescue Recover Rebuild (R3) website, including fact sheets, sample letters to Congress, and social media resources. And reach out to your hard-working executive directors if you want to participate in a virtual meeting with members of your congressional delegation.

Stay safe,

Linda Bauer Darr

All comments to blog posts will be moderated by ACEC staff.

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May 14, 2020



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