Government Affairs: The Good Old (New) Days

Words: Stephen Borg

Words: Stephen Borg
Photo: pat138241

Three years ago, the column this time of year would have been full of my words telling you to get pumped up for our annual Legislative Fly-In. I would have been writing this article telling you to dust off your dress shoes, dry clean your suit, join your fellow MCAA Members and get ready to come make your voice heard in Washington, D.C. Anyone remember it? “If you are not up on Capitol Hill telling your story, someone else is up here telling it for you!”

Well, like with just about everything else, COVID decided to rear its ugly head and cancel our Legislative Fly-In in 2020 and 2021. Capitol Hill offices closed their doors, Congress quickly shifted to keeping small businesses, restaurants, and the economy going, while at the same time trying to figure out exactly what COVID was and how we were going to respond as a country. My job went from a purely face to face, dark wool suit industry to one where a phone was glued to my ear and dress shirts with sweatpants became the new Zoom dress code on Capitol Hill. And here is where my years of articles imploring you to help build relationships comes full circle…. when you spend years building relationships, telling your story, and becoming a valuable resource to Members of Congress and their staff, a funny thing happens… they take YOUR phone call and schedule YOUR Zoom meetings. While we didn’t have Legislative Fly-Ins in 2020 and 2021 our voice was still being heard due to your previous efforts here in DC, due to MCAA continuing to advocate for you while you couldn’t be here, and due to our commitment to remain engaged.

When an unforeseen circumstance pops up on one of your jobsites what do you do? You pivot, you readjust, and you finish the job. And just like you, that is exactly what we did at MCAA with our Congressional outreach efforts. We mentioned this briefly in Las Vegas at our Convention at the World of Concrete, but we are getting back to the Good Old Days; well maybe I should say the Good Old (New) Days. You see, for the past months Jeff Buczkiewicz has been coming out to join me in Washington, D.C. for targeted meetings and fundraisers with Members of Congress we have built relationships with throughout the years and building new relationships with new Members of Congress who won election in 2020. We take a day or two and conduct mini MCAA Fly-Ins, and unlike our normal Fly-In days, we are not running around office to office, the Members of Congress are usually coming to us. No more huffing and puffing as you run across marble floors trying to get from the Longworth House Office Building to the Cannon House Office Building for your next meeting! And here is where we need you! 

We would love for YOU, our Members, to dust off your dress shoes, dry clean your suit and join Jeff and I in Washington, D.C. to continue to make your voice heard. We are looking for one or two companies/members to join us every month for a day or two of targeted meetings and fundraisers with Members from your home states. We need to continue to fortify those long-term relationships, but at the same time build those new relationships that will be so key moving forward. Unfortunately, while you have been trying to find employees (something Congress needs to hear!), deal with supply chain delays, and deal with constantly changing local regulations, Congress and OSHA have still been busy. Busy with COVID regulations, proposing new jobsite regulations like heat stress rules, and debating massive trillion dollar packages that would drastically change the direction of our country. And guess what? IF YOU ARE NOT UP ON CAPITOL HILL TELLING YOUR STORY, SOMEONE ELSE IS TELLING IT FOR YOU!

So please join us in Washington D.C. as we get back to the Good Old (New) Days and start our new Legislative Fly-In program of miniature, targeted MCAA member specific days in Washington, D.C. 

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