Utility Contractor

NOV-DEC 2018

As the official magazine of NUCA, Utility Contractor presents the latest information affecting every aspect of the utility construction industry, including technological advancements, safety issues, legislative developments and instructional advice.

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By Bryce Mongeon Utility Contractor 69 Communication from You is Critical While NUCA's advocacy on the Hill is primarily how we ad- vance our issues, we can't achieve our goals without members also communicating with their lawmakers. Contractors and sup- pliers (and often their employees) are their constituents, and constituents are always much more persuasive than a national lobbyist. When important issues are before Congress, we will ask for your assistance. We will explain the issues, tell you how to contact your lawmakers, and brief you on what information to communicate. Having worked for a U.S. Congressman for sev- eral years, I know that direct communication from constituents can help sway a lawmaker's vote in our favor. If you are a constit- uent engaged enough to contact the lawmaker directly, then he or she will also assume you are engaged enough to vote. Never underestimate the power of a personal phone call or email when critical issues are before Congress. NUCA member feedback and expertise is also critical in guid- ing the priorities and efforts of our advocacy program. This in- formation is necessary to determine exactly how proposed legis- lation or regulation would affect our industry. When necessary, we will ask for your feedback through surveys or other direct outreach. If we are to benefit our industry, our GR team must first clearly understand if and how a particular issue will impact our core membership. If GR emails you a brief survey, please take a minute to provide the information we request. Your feedback will ensure that we are lobbying the most important issues and have strong argu- ments to make our case with Members of Congress. For that reason, it is just as helpful to know if an issue is not important to your company as it is to know why it is important. To take a recent example, the responses we received from our survey concerning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administra- tion's Hours of Service and Electronic Logging Device regulations assisted us in two ways. Members who had concerns about the regulations shared their expertise, which allowed us to make the best possible argument for our position in written comments submitted to the agency. Those of you who indicated it was not a big deal to helped us prioritize it against the other important advocacy issues. Many thanks to those of you who took time to return the survey and who shared your specific concerns. As our advocacy team continues to delve into the issues im- portant to members, please email or call me with any legislative or regulatory issue impacting your business you think needs to be on our radar. Attend the Summit and Participate in Democracy At NUCA's Washington Summit you will meet with your congressional lawmakers or their legislative staff and share the reality of running (or helping to run) a business. Most lawmakers have never owned a business, so these meetings offer the opportunity to explain the difficulties of running a business in a highly regulated indus- try. These meetings provide the unique chance to give real-life examples of the is- sues you confront every day. These scenarios will help elected officials understand the importance of supporting our issues and how doing so will directly serve their communities. All that you need to bring is your stories; NUCA will brief you on the specific issues and provide you detailed information and the other tools needed for a congressional meeting. The Summit also includes half-day Legislative Conference where Members of Congress and other Washington experts share their perspectives on the lay of the land in Washington and an insider view of the Hill. How Else Can We Help? NUCA's Government Relations Committee, with staff input, sets the priorities for NUCA's advocacy efforts. By participating in the GR Committee, you are actively working to influence public policy so it benefits your company, the industry, and the business community as a whole. Committee members stay in- formed on NUCA's priority issues and developments in Wash- ington as they happen. Most importantly, committee members, as contractors with experience, help provide the reasoning be- hind our positions — the ammunition to effectively lobby our positions when talking to legislators on the Hill. The commit- tee meets via conference call once a month and holds face-to- face meetings at NUCA's Washington Summit and Convention Staying Informed NUCA members have considerable access to information about NUCA's advocacy efforts on the Hill and in the regula- tory agencies. Political Insiders e-news, offers the most up-to- date information on legislative and regulatory developments. You must subscribe to receive this newsletter. Please email Bryce@nuca.com to subscribe. NUCA@Work, published bi- weekly for NUCA members, also includes advocacy news. You must be a member to get our bi-weekly NUCA@Work. Of course, our regular column in Utility Contractor also pro- vides up-to-date information. Watch for our feature story in the next issue for a wrap-up of the midterm elections, a re- view of 2018 congressional actions, and a look forward to next year's anticipated congressional and regulatory activity in Washington, D.C. The purpose of NUCA's advocacy efforts is to serve the needs of our members. We hope that this Inside Washington column gives you a better understanding of the work that we do and the ways you can get involved and influence policy. If you ever have questions about NUCA's advocacy, priorities, and activities please reach out to me directly at Bryce@nuca.com. Bryce Mongeon is Director of Government Relations for the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA).

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