Yesterday, the Senate passed the Water Resources Development Act (S. 601). The final $12 billion package includes several of ASCE top priorities for WRDA such as the reauthorization of the National Dam Safety Program, the creation of a National Levee Safety Program, the eventual move toward trust in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, and reforms to accelerate project review and delivery.
The next step in the process is passage of the bill by the House of Representatives. This is where you come in. Reaching out to your legislator is important. Members of the House and Senate often tell us that they are influenced by their constituents and in particular, those whose voices are loudest. Make your voice heard and help represent our profession as experts on infrastructure.
The best way to demonstrate your support for WRDA and other legislation important to civil engineering is to visit with your lawmaker face-to-face. You can do this by making an appointment to meet in their local district office, or by attending a Town Hall Meeting, fundraiser, or other local event – check your local news source or the lawmaker’s website for upcoming appearances. ASCE has resources available to help you do this through the Key Contact Program.
If you can’t meet with your lawmaker, you can send an email voicing your support directly to your Representative. Don’t forget to point out why the Water Resources Development Act benefits not only your community, but strengthens the nation’s water infrastructure as a whole. You can write an email to your Representative in a matter of minutes using ASCE’s “Click and Connect” Internet Advocacy Website. Just a few clicks of your mouse and your message will be on its way.
Another option is to write an opinion piece for your local newspaper. Don’t be intimidated – we have Op-ed samples and more information on the process to guide you. And a final option is to talk about the WRDA legislation with your colleagues, family and friends both in-person and online. Encourage them to spread the word and reach out to their legislators. Together we can create a grassroots effort to make a difference on this issue.
For more information on this bill’s progress and why we consider it important, follow along on ASCE’s Save America’s Infrastructure blog. Our Government Relations staff is glad to help if you have any questions.
What other ways have you been involved in supporting legislative initiatives?