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Suggested Activities for ASCE Sections and Branches

 Suggested Activities for ASCE Sections and Branches

  • Develop a state infrastructure report card. ASCE has resources and staff available to assist with developing a state infrastructure report card. The reports card serves as valuable advocacy tool for interacting with policymakers at all levels of government.
  • Deliver and promote your state infrastructure report card to policymakers. Distribute the report card to legislative leadership, members of the key committees in the legislature that deal with infrastructure, key state agencies and the Governor’s office.
  • Identify a government relations contact. ASCE highly recommends that each Section and Branch designate a government relations contact. This individual will serve as a liaison between the Section or Branch and the ASCE State Government Relations Committee, and will assist in promoting ASCE's priority issues related to civil engineering profession to state elected officials and office holders including state licensing boards.
  • Organize a Section / Branch Government Relations Committee. This will increase the effectiveness of your efforts, and distribute the work among a number of volunteers.
  • Develop relationships with other groups in the profession. Build Relationships inside the profession such as ACEC, NSPE and others. Often the profession can be more successful advocating for issues if the entire profession is united and working together.
  • Build your grassroots network. Recruit key contacts. In conjunction with and with the support of ASCE headquarters, conduct and generate strong participation in at least one SGR (what, why, how) training session/grassroots advocacy session per year. Utilize webinar and workshops for broader membership training.
  • Use ASCE national as a resource. ASCE has a variety of resources for Sections and Branches to assist with advocacy efforts at the state level. They include the state government relations manual, state and local key alerts, state government relations updates, testimony, talking points, and state issue briefs. Use Section or Branch website to link to ASCE national website on SGR resources. Create and maintain links to the ASCE SGR Manual and ASCE main website.
  • Identify subject experts. Identify and develop a list of experts from membership in your state on each ASCE priority issues. These individuals can testify at the state capitol or serve as media spokespersons when called upon to do so.
  • Testify before the legislature. Delivering testimony at a legislative hearing provides a direct opportunity to publicly state ASCE’s position or concerns with pending legislation.
  • Use ASCE to generate key alerts on pending legislation. Section leaders need to be a key component of the grassroots team, participating in calls and letter-writing when asked.
  • Monitor the actions of your state licensing board. Build relationships with members of the state engineering licensing board and attend/monitor their meetings, reporting significant activity to Sections within your state and ASCE headquarters SGR staff. These relationships and the support of these board members are essential, as board members often advise the state legislature on issues.
  • Monitor the terms of office and appointment process for the state engineering licensing board in order to be ready to submit and support candidates. Identify, recruit and collectively support candidates who are qualified, willing and able to serve on the state licensing board. Goal: To get more civil engineers appointed to your state’s engineering licensing board.
  • Build relationships with legislators. Relationship building is a key to success in government relations at any level. The best place to start is by meeting with your elected representatives. The Key Contact program can help! Contact ASCE Government Relations for resources to give a presentation at an upcoming Section/Branch meeting, or include items in your next newsletter.
  • Hold an annual legislative day at the state capitol. Coordinate visits to legislators with a focused message. Includes all Sections and Branches in the state. In some states this is done in conjunction with other engineering groups or other design professionals.
  • Make your Section / Branch membership aware of government relations activities. Highlight achievements and activities on the Section websites within each state and in Section publications; share activity updates and successes with your respective national SGR Committee Region member and ASCE headquarters staff so this information can be recognized and shared on a national basis through the ASCE website and publications.
  • Hire a lobbyist. As resources allow, identify and hire a state lobbyist to represent ASCE on an ongoing basis. Some Sections / Branches have partnered with other engineering groups as part of a coalition to hire a lobbyist.
  • Become a Report Card spokesperson. Speak to a local community group or Chamber of Commerce about the Report Card and the need for infrastructure investment and renewal. Offer to be an expert on infrastructure issues facing your community using the Report Card tools available from ASCE.
  • Write an Op-Ed to your local newspaper. ASCE staff can assist you with this by providing talking points, research, tips for writing effective opinion pieces. ASCE staff can also assist with getting these placed in your local newspapers.