Constructor - September/October 2012 - (Page 8)

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Vote or Don’t Complain ONE OF THE GREAT PERKS OF being AGC’s president for the year is the opportunity to travel to many of our chapters across the country and meet so many wonderful construction professionals. And despite the many differences in outlook, attitude and styles, the one thing every person I have met has in common is that they are anything but shy. It makes sense — construction is not a profession for the meek, the quiet or the timid. And I suspect that many of you involved your fi rms in AGC to make sure your voice was heard. The good news for all of us is you get a wonderful opportunity to have your voice heard every election day. And this November we are going to need every construction professional to participate. As you will read about in our feature story previewing the upcoming elections (“Let Your Voice Be Heard,” page 12), there is a tremendous amount at stake with control of both houses in Congress and the White House seemingly in play. So if you care about your tax rates, if you wonder about the impacts of federal regulations, or if you are concerned about the direction and economic health of your country, make sure you get out there and vote. Regardless of your political preferences, the most important thing is that the construction industry’s voice is heard during this year’s election. Elected officials need to know that our industry ramps above its already significant size when it comes to voting. So get out there and vote — on Election Day if you are going to be around, or via early or absentee balloting if you think there’s even a chance you won’t be able to make it to the polls on Nov. 6. But let’s also be clear, voting is just one of the things you can do. Indeed, as the great staff who runs AGC’s government affairs operation keeps telling me, constituents have more power than they realize. Studies regularly show that the most effective way to have a positive influence on members of Congress is through in-person visits or personal letters from their constituents. That makes sense if you think about it. Senators and representatives are in Washington to represent their districts, and they truly care a great deal about what their constituents want. And if they don’t, it won’t take long before they know what it is like to be a former member of Congress. Yes, AGC of America has amazing lobbyists, and yes, your chapter staff is top notch and has probably built pretty solid relationships with your Congressional delegation. But the ultimate power we wield is the fact that each one of us is a constituent. If you haven’t already, get to know your Congressional delegation. Call them when you have questions, but more importantly, visit with them when they are home or when you are in Washington. Tell them how regulations impact your business and why we need tax certainty, sound infrastructure and pro-growth policies. In-person visits or contact from thousands of AGC members were crucial to our success in getting the 3 percent withholding measure repealed, which in essence, would have forced contractors to provide an interest-free loan to the federal government for an indeterminate length of time. And even more in-person visits with members of Congress were vital to our successful effort to get a highway and transit bill, that also provides much-needed reforms to the environmental review process, enacted this year. The fact is that Washington isn’t the kind of place where you can sit patiently with your hand up waiting to be called upon to share your opinion. You have to make yourself heard. Fortunately, none of you are going to shy away from getting to know your elected officials and visiting with them often. And none of you lack the intelligence to get out there and vote in this, and every other, election. So remember, every vote counts — make sure yours is one of them or don’t complain. ◆ BY JOSEPH H. JARBOE AGC PRESIDENT Studies regularly show that the most effective way to have a positive influence on members of Congress is through inperson visits or personal letters from their constituents. 8 constructor | SEPTEM BER/ O CTO BER 2012 http://www.constructormagazine.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Constructor - September/October 2012

EDITOR’S NOTE
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
CEO’S LETTER
LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD
Q&A WITH U.S. SEN. SCOTT BROWN
CREATING A CULTURE OF SAFETY
ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES IN TRANSPORTATION BILL A WIN FOR INDUSTRY
MEMBER AND CHAPTER NEWS
TECHNOLOGY TOOLBOX
2012 INSURANCE DIRECTORY
INDEX TO ADVERTISERS
FINAL INSPECTION

Constructor - September/October 2012

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