Election Day is right around the corner. That probably isn’t news to you, but it is essential to be aware of what’s at stake and to consider the issues that are important to you, your business and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). Part of being a good citizen is making an informed vote, especially in the heat of what has become a very lively campaign.
It might be news to you that NECA has a Constituent Action program, which provides NECA members the opportunity to develop a strong, ongoing personal relationship with their members of Congress, and it is the heart of our grassroots strategy. We have also developed a Congressional Meetings Toolkit on our website to give you the ins and outs of how to schedule and conduct a meeting with your senator or representative. A few years ago, we launched our NECA Advocacy mobile app, which is a great tool to help you advocate for the industry.
Beyond that is our thriving political action program, better known as NECAPAC. The NECA Political Action Committee and our Political Leadership Council have become a great success, thanks to the support we receive from NECA members and chapters nationwide. It helps support candidates for the U.S. Senate and House who support our industry, and I encourage you to learn more about how you can get involved.
NECA’s advocacy efforts have strengthened our reputation as the leading specialty contractor association in Washington, D.C. Opening our Capitol Hill office in September 2013 enabled us to promote NECA’s advocacy efforts and grow our relationship with the legislative branch in ways we could not have imagined. Since then, we have held and attended hundreds of meetings and events between our staff and members of Congress from across the country.
Why does it matter? We always say the next election is the most important election in our history. It may sound cliched, but it is true. Our country is experiencing change in economics and demographics, and how we conduct business is going to continue to change as well. The electrical construction industry has a vested interest in economic policy that will lead to greater investment in the electric grid, commercial building construction, transportation infrastructure and industrial work. A robust investment in our nation’s infrastructure is essential to keeping NECA’s electrical contractors in business, their employees working, and the economy strong.
As we get closer to 2017, lawmakers on Capitol Hill will face a host of challenges in those early months of the year. No matter the results, NECA will continue to work with congressional leaders, the new administration, our coalition partners and our members to develop policy positions and advocate for legislative and regulatory initiatives that will address complex issues. It is our expectation that comprehensive tax reform will be at the top of everyone’s agenda, and I believe addressing this issue will be critical to propel economic growth and make America more competitive.
That said, I urge you all to go out and exercise your civic duty and vote in this election. Vote your conscience, vote your heart, and, most important, learn about the candidates and their positions on the issues that you care about. See you at the polls.
About The Author
David A. Hardt is the current president of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and contributes the President's Desk column monthly. He took office in January 2015 and will serve a three-year term.