Orange County Branch Newsletter

December 2019

ASCE OC Government Relations Committee

Legislative Fly-In 101 Workshop

By Patrick Tierney | Government Relations Committee Co-Chair

Every year, ASCE members from across the United States gather in Washington D.C. for Legislative Day, two days of briefing on public policy and meeting with members of the United States Congress to discuss infrastructure. From the quality of the roads we drive, the water we drink, to the lights we remember to turn off before leaving the house, they all rely on funding allocated by our government. On Legislative Day, ASCE's goal is to inform our electorate about the issues our industry faces so that they can make better-informed decisions when allocating funding.

On October 30th, a day before Halloween, the ASCE Orange County Government Relations Committee met to discuss the upcoming Legislative Day in March 2020. We discussed what attending the event is like and tips to make the applications stand out.  At the end of the workshop, past attendees, Elizabeth Ruedas, P.E. and Adeleine Tran, P.E., shared their experience and answered questions about the program. Click here to read last year's recap of the ASCE Legislative Fly-In 2019.

Missed out on our Legislative Fly-In 101 Workshop? Click here to download our presentation on tips and info regarding the program.

While applications are now closed, it is never too late to start working on next year. The selection process factors your level of effort in government relations. There are many chances for you to get involved, 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. 

ASCE has many tools to help inform our representatives, including the ASCE report card, ASCE policy positions, and ASCE staff lobbyists. These tools help us compete for a share of federal funding. Despite infrastructure typically being a bipartisan issue, our industry remains underfunded and the issues sometimes are misrepresented. Dams are failing at an increasing rate and water leaks through pipes that remain in the ground past their useful life.

On Legislative Day, we are not the flashiest group of lobbyists roaming the halls. We don’t have the profit margins to sway votes with large scale campaign donations that perhaps the investment, medical or telecom businesses do. We must rely on our attendance and effectiveness at events like Legislative Day to advance and preserve the civil engineering profession.

Share the 2019 California Infrastructure Report Card:

There’s an App for that!

  • Search Save America’s Infrastructure on App Store or Google Play

See how you can get involved:

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


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