Stone, Sand and Gravel Review - March/April 2011 - (Page 22)

Reach Out “ONE-TO-FIVE” Advocacy Initiative by Pamela J. Whitted NSSGA Vice President Government Affairs to Your Peers with W ith the enthusiastic encouragement of NSSGA Chairman Bill Schneider, president and CEO, Knife River Corporation, and NSSGA Government Affairs Division Chairman Charlie Luck, IV, president and CEO, Luck Stone Corporation, NSSGA is kicking off a new initiative that we believe will boost support from the business sector – and then from the general public at the local level – for surface transportation reauthorization. Congress has repeatedly granted shortterm extensions to the program, but this approach shortchanges the system and stymies the states, who want the security to plan long-term. We need to do all we can to ensure Congress extends the law until a multi-year reauthorization is developed. We are calling this new proposal the “One-to-Five” program. Under the “One-to-Five” initiative, we ask each NSSGA Official Representative of an NSSGA producer member company to call/contact five other business leaders, community leaders, local government officials, school officials, etc., they know who are NOT involved in construction. Congress needs to hear a consistent and growing drumbeat from the average voter, small business people, Fortune 500s and the service sector on their demands for a highway bill. We believe it will make a difference if Congress starts hearing from heads of large, medium and small non-construction-related businesses. Try to think of peers from companies or organizations, for example, carriers like UPS and FedEx, importers, county fire and rescue teams that have to get people to hospitals, school officials and those who are responsible for transporting children to and from school, and parent groups. Members of Congress have stated time and again that they do not hear from non-construction people or business users begging for infrastructure investment unless it is in response to a natural disaster. The implication is that there is too much self-interest; we are being thrown in as just another special interest group deserving of cuts by the deficit hawks. Two hundred NSSGA company leaders contacting just five heads of nonconstruction-related businesses and local government leaders, engaging them in concern for extension of the law at current funding levels, and then building concern for a multi-year, well-functioning highway bill, can bring 1,000 non-construction business leaders to the congressional table to participate on this issue. They would urge action by congressional leaders through letters to them or other media and engaging the voices of other local business people/groups. Members of Congress need to see that this issue is of concern community-wide. Commerce is the lifeblood of our nation’s economy, and America’s transportation infrastructure is its circulatory system. This network of roads and transportation structures – built by Americans employed in well-paying jobs that cannot be exported – is essential for the economic growth, safety, security, freedom of mobility and quality of life benefiting every American. State and local officials require the flexibility to set their own transportation priorities that meet national needs, from unclogging bottlenecks on highways to improving unsafe rural roads that still plague many parts of our country. This in turn will improve overall commerce and the quality of life throughout the nation; enhance our competitiveness by being able to efficiently and effectively bring our goods to market; strengthen travel and tourism; and, most importantly, unleash a wave of job creation that will benefit the American people. Failure to enact a long-term bill that reforms the system to make it faster and more efficient not only undermines the stability and predictability that transportation officials need to plan, design, construct, operate and maintain these vital infrastructure improvement projects, but also would leave in place an outdated 20th century model putting us at a competitive disadvantage worldwide. ■ 22 Stone, Sand & Gravel Review, March/April 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Stone, Sand and Gravel Review - March/April 2011

Stone, Sand and Gravel Review - March/April 2011
Events Calendar
Legislative & Regulatory Calendar
Senate Majority Leader Welcomes NSSGA Members to His Native State
Welcome to Las Vegas!
The United States Must Have a Federal Commitment to Infrastructure
Reach Out to Your Peers With “One-to-Five”
What the Anatomy of a Legislative Success Looks Like
How Planning Ahead Will Enhance Your AGG1 Experience and Generate Your Highest ROI
Boxley Reports on the Company’s Sustainability Program – Greener. Smarter. Better.™
Pursuing Sustainable Business Initiatives From a Large Business Perspective
Learn Your New Congressional Leadership
Rip ’N Share Safety Handout
Products & Services Guide Listings
Buyers’ Guide

Stone, Sand and Gravel Review - March/April 2011