March 2016: Government Affairs

Words: Dan KamysMarch 2016

World of Concrete — Yet Another Big Step for MCAA

borg_1114By Stephen A. Borg

You have read in this column in previous months about the huge impact that the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA) has made over the past two years in Washington, D.C. Whether it has been in leading the charge with some of the biggest associations in the country to attempt to block the proposed silica exposure rule out of OSHA, firing up our grassroots network to flood Capitol Hill with phone calls on appropriations packages, or walking the halls of Congress to make our voice heard on the need for a check-off program, MCAA has been growing in stature and strength in Washington. While a lot can be said of the MCAA leadership and board in these endeavors, it is you, the MCAA members, who have heeded the call, sacrificed your time and made your voice heard. Adding to our previous successes, just recently we saw the amazing results of your continued commitment while we were in Las Vegas for the 2016 World of Concrete convention. MCAA members and leaders flocked to the convention and showed their passion and pride. Not only did we participate in the convention and the numerous competitions sponsored by MCAA, but we also took the time to plan our government relations strategy for 2016 and the coming years. We have set some ambitious goals for our Capitol Hill strategy, and it will take a committed and vocal effort to continue toward success in Washington. However, after witnessing our members breaking the record — yet again, I might add — for the most PAC funds raised in a year while we were in Las Vegas, and record numbers of members and partners engaging in the events we sponsored at the convention, I am confident that our members will again rise to the challenge and continue to remain engaged. Nearly 55 years ago, in a speech that set the groundwork for one of man’s greatest achievements, President John F. Kennedy challenged our country to put a man on the moon. When Neil Armstrong famously set foot on the surface of the moon, he uttered a few simple words that will be remembered for the rest of time: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” As we start planning for MCAA’s annual Legislative Days in Washington, D.C., let me draw on what our President said those many years ago and challenge you, the MCAA membership. Set aside the idea that you don’t have a voice in Congress, that you are too busy to fight for the trade that you have come to love, and join us in making MCAA, a relatively small trade association in Washington terms, the most powerful voice on Capitol Hill. Take the time to register for the 2016 Legislative Days on May 17–19, and join us in making our voice heard. We have made many small steps throughout the years, and I would argue we have even made some big steps on Capitol Hill. But I ask, will you take the time to ensure that in the near future we are all able to say with one, strong voice that we took the time to make small steps as individuals, but made a giant leap forward for our industry?
Stephen A. Borg is VP of The Keelen Group,
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