Steve Cook: Our voice is needed more than ever

sht0219_ASALetter

Never has it been more important for all of us to engage in advocating for our industry and companies than today. 

Now that the November elections are in our rearview mirror, many will say that gridlock has descended upon Washington and that is good because nothing bad can happen to us. However, as business owners, gridlock also means that nothing good can happen to us either.  

Our voice as business leaders and as an industry is needed now more than ever. Each night as I watch the evening news, its sounds increasingly like “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” coming out of Washington. Where are the reasonable voices?  It’s time to step up. One of ASA’s four value cornerstones is to conduct a robust advocacy effort to protect the interests of our association’s members. One area that we provide value as an association is in advocating for reasonable codes and standards, and you can read more about this in our lead article in the “ASA News” section of this issue. 

I am proud of how we have worked to build such a dynamic Advocacy team representing the wide range of our industry’s interests. This team can help impact your business in areas such as codes, standards, regulatory affairs, legislative affairs and political action. Few organizations can match our association’s ability to project a voice to advocate for us like ASA can.

This leadership was most recently witnessed this past December when ASA Chairman Brian Tuohey (The Collins Companies) was invited to a special invitation-only meeting held at the U.S. Department of Education with Secretary Ross to discuss the need for apprenticeship recruitment and training. Being included in this important meeting is a testament to the ASA brand and influence among key legislators, administrators and, more importantly, among allied organizations that work with ASA as partners in fighting for sound federal policy. 

One person can make a difference in driving necessary changes in Washington. Thousands of voices can be an unstoppable wave in protecting an industry. There is little doubt over the past two years we have seen a renaissance in how Washington sees our businesses and the value we offer our nation. But the result of last November’s election introduced a new, more vocal voice against business and those that create jobs in this country. It’s time to engage with ASA in educating the newly elected officials on the value our industry offers America.  

ASA’s Advocacy team provides us with a very dynamic voice that we are proud of. But it’s important to not be complacent with our success. You can play a very important role in our future success with advancing our voice, especially in Washington. Here are a few ways you can help:

First, let us help schedule a private day in Washington to join our advocacy team to visit your members of Congress. If you are willing to fly to Washington for the day, we’d be excited to schedule personal meetings with those members of Congress who represent you.

Second, if you can’t make it to Washington, then we’d like to work with you to bring your member of Congress to visit your place of business to meet with you and your employees.

Come to NETWORK in Washington, D.C., in September and help us celebrate our association’s 50th anniversary by joining hundreds of fellow ASA members who will visit their elected officials as part of our national convention.

These all are important things that you can do to support our Advocacy team and help it expand our influence in protecting your interests. Let us know how we can help you jump in and get started.

 

~Steve Cook

February 14, 2019