Orange County Branch Newsletter

March 2020

ASCE OC Government Relations Committee

Super Tuesday Happy Hour

By Patrick Tierney | Government Relations Committee Co-Chair



On March 4th, Super Tuesday, the ASCE Orange County Government Relations Committee held their monthly meeting at TAPS Brewery in Tustin. What's so super about this Tuesday? I hope you're not asking, and you missed the meeting to vote!

Super Tuesday is when the most delegates in the presidential primary are won, including those from the largest state, California. Both political parties are in fact holding primaries, however, it is a much bigger event for the party that is trying to unseat the White House incumbent. This year the competition was between Democrats. Another day it’ll be Republicans. At the end of the night, it was still unclear who and what policies may be on the November ticket. 

Shifting policies and alignments are my favorite part about the primaries. Viewpoints can vary widely within the same parties and they must compromise under one candidate and decide what is the best direction. In today's world that can be difficult to do. Here’s a great listen about that topic, https://www.ted.com/talks/julia_dhar_how_to_disagree_productively_and_find_common_ground/transcript?language=en

The meeting agenda included ongoing topics and a discussion led by Robert Marteniz on automated vehicle policies at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Recently the FCC ruled on the bandwidth that vehicles can use to communicate. Robert guided us through the decisions the FCC made and explained how the wavelengths are distributed for different uses. My takeaway was that a certain wavelength that was mostly unused at this point, but dedicated to future use for communication between self-driving cars, was being appropriated. ASCE’s stance on this ruling was that it was not a safe idea and a write up from the ASCE Report Card team can be found here. 

https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/fcc-proposes-opening-up-auto-airwaves-threat-to-driver-safety/

After tacos, pretzels and beer tasting we all left the meeting better informed about what our government is doing and excited about the presidential primary season. As you get ready to vote this year, I encourage you to research and talk about the issues that our industry and the nation are dealing with that are important to you. Whether it is infrastructures or healthcare, stay engaged and help find a compromise. 

There are many chances for you to get involved in ASCE Government Relations, including: 

  • Attending the Region 9 (California) Legislative Day in Sacramento. This event is typically in May and registration will open in the upcoming months for the 2020 event.
  • Engaging with your federal, state and local representatives through email contact, scheduling face to face meetings, or attending planned events like holiday parties.
  • Engaging with ASCE regional staff through the Key Contact Program.
  • Reach out to Adeleine or myself to be added to the ASCE Orange County Government Relations Committee and get notified when there's an upcoming legislative event. 

Share the 2019 California Infrastructure Report Card:

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About the Author

Patrick Tierney is a civil engineer at Michael Baker International in Orange County, CA. He specializes in highway transportation projects and has experience in the bridge and regional planning fields. Originally from Massachusetts, he enjoys surfing the warmer waters in Southern California. Patrick can be reached at [email protected].


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