Last summer, aggregates operations around the country brought members of Congress to their quarries in record numbers. The industry’s heightened participation in “Driving It Home 2015” was a critical component in spurring Congress to pass the FAST Act.
Despite surface transportation funding increase in the FAST Act, Congress failed to address long-term funding of the system. There is no sustainable funding mechanism to support future highway infrastructure investments and the Highway Trust Fund will face revenue shortfalls by 2021 despite the roughly $70 billion FAST Act infusion. So we must continue driving home the value of aggregates and investing in our transportation infrastructure.
The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) is urging its members to meet with their Congressional representatives at operations all over the country. The House of Representatives will have a seven-week recess running from July 16 through Labor Day encompassing the traditional August district work period as well as both parties’ national nominating conventions.
There is nothing more impactful with members of Congress than visits with constituents when they are home during congressional recesses. These are opportunities to show elected officials up close and personally how you extract and process the aggregates that are essential to local and national roads and highways.
Visits to local operations also allow lawmakers to meet large numbers of their constituents, which is something they always welcome and that builds legislative goodwill. “Do’s and Don’ts” of hosting a successful facility tour can be found here.
Attending a local congressional town hall meeting, meeting with them in their home district office or scheduling a bus tour of major highway projects in your area allows lawmakers to see how transportation issues affect their constituents. An outline of a legislative bus tour, courtesy of the New Hampshire Good Roads Association, can be found here.