June 2008: For The Record

Words: Dan KamysJune 2008 For The Record

Climbing 'The Hill'

Jennifer MorrellJennifer Morrell Editor jmorrell@lionhrtpub.com

Does it really matter if a group of industry professionals converge on Capitol Hill in Washington to voice concerns, have face-to-face meetings with Congressmen and hear what legislators have to say? You bet.

I think most Americans tend to believe that Washington, D.C., is its own universe with its own reality that we "regular folks" can only be part of by watching the news or one of many nighttime shows with a news format. Nonsense!

Jennifer MorrellWashington is a real place, reachable by car, train, bus or plane (or, with today's gas prices, a bicycle). And, guess what? Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives are real, too. Real people, just like you and me, who want to do what they were elected to do: serve the people of the United States. They can't possibly determine the best way to vote on issues and make decisions that will best serve you, if you aren't conveying your opinions and concerns.

Last month, members of the masonry industry, the MCAA and the National Concrete Masonry Association attended a Legislative Conference at the nation's capitol. In addition to hearing from several members of Congress regarding their views on legislation that affects the masonry industry, including Estate Tax, Immigration Reform, Military Construction (MilCon) and

SILICA, we had the opportunity to lobby. I personally visited the offices of Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. (D-Ga.) and Rep. John McHugh (R-N.Y.) to discuss our industry's concern over Estate Tax and MilCon. I believe that, as individuals and as a group, we made a difference.

Oh, and there's the small matter of Washington being home to the country's most rich heritage and historical monuments, as well as national museums (with free admission). A colorful picture or well-crafted movie doesn't do the trick. Take yourself and your family to be a part of this indescribable energy — an energy that could only come about after centuries of men and women working in the same buildings and on the same streets to make America the wonderful country it is today.

     
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