I Make America is a campaign started by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) in 2010 as a domestic public policy advocacy platform.
“In April, my employer, Towmaster Inc. based in Litchfield, Minnesota, sent me to Washington D.C., to join my counterparts on the ’I Make America’ advisory committee. I Make America is a campaign started by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) in 2010 as a domestic public policy advocacy platform. The advisory committee is a group of representatives from companies all around the country. Our committee met with political experts from AEM to discuss our mission and to lay out a game plan for Capitol Hill visits.
“Our mission in April was simple…ask Congress to pass a long term bill to fund the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) for many years to come. Why is this important? Because it ensures the safety of all that travel our roads, bridges, railways or shipping yards. It provides job security to thousands of Americans who work on these projects or those of us who manufacture products used in the construction industry.
“Our visit was held in conjunction with the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) Fly-In. All groups combined, we had over 500 representatives from the construction industry that made visits to congressional leaders to help push for a deal that funds the HTF. The TCC group was able to hear ideas from several speakers including U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
“We heard many good ideas and plans but our mission was clear, go meet your representatives in person and let them know how you feel.
“Some of the local representatives that I was able to meet with included members from the offices of Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator Al Franken (D-MN). The visits were productive for the most part and everyone agreed that we need to do something but I didn’t get a sense that anyone wanted to take charge and move the HTF to the next level without some assistance from other congressional leaders. I urged each of them to remember the 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I feel that all Minnesota representatives should be leading the charge when it comes to the Highway Trust Fund. Our wonderful country doesn’t need another bridge collapse, we don’t need another highway with potholes that consistently get larger, and we don’t need any more railways aging and failing. We need to fix this now.
“In the end, it was a wonderful experience and I would like to Thank AEM and Towmaster for the opportunity. I feel that anyone in the construction industry should take the opportunity at some point and go see their congressional leader on Capitol Hill. They are open to discussions and they are thankful when constituents come to see them. I encourage you, please, ask your Congressional leader to get a long term Highway Trust Fund passed before it’s too late.
“Let’s do this not just for today, but for the future of our country.”