Rural Water - Quarter 4, 2009 - (Page 11)

FROM THE PRESIDENT BY FRED SHELDON, NRWA PRESIDENT The Desire and Patience to Serve – Do the Right Thing THE VAST MAJORITY of the men and women in this country who hold elected public office in Congress and in our state legislatures are good and decent people who are motivated to do the right thing by serving their district, state or nation. This is why they got into the business – they felt they could make a difference. This drive and motivation isn’t any different than what drives each one of us in our daily work. We get up each day to serve our rural residents with affordable, safe and clean water, provide wastewater services and make a difference in the quality of life. Members of Congress and their staff juggle thousands of competing interests each year as they wade through what they consider to be the top issues for their constituents. At the same time, other factors such as national priorities, shifting political environments and leadership pressures drive many of the issues to the top. Sometimes, this will cause our issues to be left behind. I say this because many times, even if you have developed a good relationship with a member and his or her staff (one in which they truly understand the service you provide and the value of your work), that person might not be able to support you at one particular time because of other immediate pressures. But politics is like a merry-go-round, and in time, this same individual may later become your biggest advocate. A good example was the recent Recovery Act. In the beginning, many in leadership roles didn’t even mention rural America. Congressional actions on stimulus funding at the end of 2008 died containing only a very small portion of funding dedicated for water and wastewater in rural America. Several months later, many strong supporters of rural America spoke up and the political climate changed and rural America received $3.78 billion for the USDA water and wastewater program. NRWA also received additional funding for stimulus circuit riders. Many of our past supporters did not vote for the Recovery Act for various reasons, but later supported the FY 2009 Agriculture Appropriation Bill that provided increases for all of our core activities. It is too easy to simply say our government is the problem for all failures or problems that confront this nation. Take part and be part of the solution. This is where NRWA has always been. Throughout history, this nation, through their representative government, has provided good leadership. Though our style of government may be slow and cumbersome, things generally work out over time. How else could this nation, an infant in the nations of the world, become the greatest free democracy with the largest economy, the strongest military and more world influence than any nation in the history of the world? Do you think it was by chance? I would say not. It is the embedded desire in the American people to do the right thing. So keep plugging your work and telling your story. Continue our ongoing partnership with our elected officials and their staff and there will be times when most parties agree that supporting our efforts is “the right thing to do.” P.S. Have you thanked your congressional people lately? ❍ Fourth Quarter 2009 • 11 Continue our ongoing partnership with our elected officials and their staff and there will be times when most parties agree that supporting our efforts is “the right thing to do.”

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 4, 2009

Rural Water - Quarter 4, 2009
From the President
Who's Telling Your Story?
Marketing Water and the Unsung Heroes of the Industry
Public Relations: Getting Along With "Aunt" Mildred
Effective PR…Even in a Downturn Economy
Regulatory Update
H20-XPO Wrap-Up
2009 Awards of Excellence
Rural Water Rally
Index to Advertisers
From the CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 4, 2009