Article by Gregory Scott
Much of the work that civil engineers engage in is influenced by public policy on a local, state or federal level. Knowledge of public policy and developments in regulations, funding and legislation is an important tool for engineers in their careers and one that is often overlooked. Learning about a world not centered on hard science can be intimidating, but ASCE has many resources that can help you.
First, join the Key Contact program at www.asce.org/keycontacts. You’ll begin to receive Government Relations communication, like This Week In Washington on Fridays, and also Key Alerts on legislation civil engineers are supporting both nationally and in Pennsylvania. Also, put the new Save America’s Infrastructure app for iPhone and Android on your phone so you can keep up to date on pressing issues. As you become more engaged, Key Contacts can influence the policy process at the state and federal levels by developing relationships with elected officials and become a trusted advisor when bills are drafted or considered. Here are just a few of the other ways you might become involved:
- Meet with your elected officials close to home by requesting a Back Home Visit.
- Attend the annual Legislative Fly-in in DC to learn about the latest issues affecting the profession and lobby your Members of Congress directly.
- Listen to Key Contact Briefing Conference Calls on a political issue currently affecting the civil engineering profession.
The investment of your time to become an engineering advocate can help you become a better engineer with better public relations skills and a broader understanding of the role public policy plays in the profession and your career.
Join the Key Contact program today!
Greg Scott, PE M.ASCE
Pittsburgh Section Government Relations Committee