Orange County Branch Newsletter
ASCE Legislative Washington Fly-In
By: Ali Bastani, PhD, PE, GE, GMU Director of Engineering
Every spring, ASCE holds a legislative Fly-In Program in Washington, DC. The program includes an intensive two-day program that provides ASCE members an inside look at the political process and give them a chance to communicate with their peers and representatives to devise vision for improving US infrastructures, economy, and way of life.
More than 200 ASCE members attended briefings on the 2013 Report Card for American’s Infrastructure, transportation trust fund, and the Water Resources Development Act in March 2013. The first day of the conference had a full schedule of presentations by our representatives in congress and ASCE legislative staff presenting the current and upcoming legislations affecting civil engineers. The 2013 ASCE Report Card for American’s Infrastructure was also presented to the members, which provided a great communication tool for presenting our concerns to our representatives. Congressman Gibbs who is involved in the Infrastructure and Environment Committee and chairs the Water Resources and Environment subcommittee talked about the influence of transportation infrastructures on US trade, agricultural export, and economy. He also noted that the transportation trust fund is funded short term through the MAP 21 bill until the end of September of 2014 and ASCE member’s involvement will be pertinent to encourage legislators for providing a long term funding for the trust fund.
Congressman Bob B. Gibbs
ASCE Members Ali Bastani, Kwame Agyare, C. Yoga Chandran, Jennifer B. Epp, Charles Anderson, Jay Higgins
The Water Resources Development Act introduction to senate coincided with the 2nd day of the conference. The California delegation constituted the highest number of attendees in the conference with 14 members. The California delegation was divided in two groups to visit Senators Feinstein and Boxer's offices. Afterwards, ASCE members individually visited their district’s representatives to discuss the 2013 ASCE report card and promote infrastructure funding. Conference participants made visits to over 350 Congressional offices to educate and lobby elected officials and their staff on these issues. Maintaining and improving US infrastructure will be required to keep US at the leading edge and competitive with China and other international emerging powers.
Ali Bastani and Congressman Dana Rohrabacher