Just coming off of the MN Construction Summit, I attended a presentation given by Minnesota Senator Ann Johnson Stewart.  The Senator is a woman business owner, engineering contractor, and past AWC member. I’m sure you are already wondering why that matters. Minnesota has 201 legislators between the two chambers and of those only about 5 have any construction experience. 
 
So what?
 
Well I was reminded that democracy is not a spectator sport. I think we have become so jaded with today’s political climate that many of us have either given up or maybe didn’t even know that we have a say at all. NOT TRUE. I am not talking about the ballot box either. Your representatives pay attention to their constituents. For every bill and every action that moves through the house or senate, your representatives are being contacted by Minnesotans with their opinions. Many of those opinions know nothing about our industry and how decisions affect our industry both directly and indirectly.  
 
Associated General Contractors (AGC) and Minnesota Subcontractors Association (MSA) have lobbyists working for their associations. AWC gets involved through our seat on the Building Jobs Coalition and stays educated on construction matters that we share with you to take action on. But your individual VOTER/CONSTITUENT voice matters to them. Whether it is a phone call, voice mail, or email about an issue that you are passionate about they keep a tally of yays and nays on issues. 
 
For instance – right now the Infrastructure funding is front and center. mixed with this is how to spend the surplus. Well for our industry using surplus dollars toward matching the infrastructure funding means we have projects, employ our industry and support businesses around those projects. So what is more important to you – a $200.00 surplus refund check or funding projects for years to come? Do your employees understand that connection? We recommend contacting your legislators on this issue. 
 

In the coming weeks I will be letting you know what I’m doing on all legislative issues either via conversations with leaders, construction related bills being introduced, or actions you can take. If you need help understanding an issue or crafting a message to your legislator, always feel free to reach out. I also encourage you to sign up for AGC Action texts through this link

— B