It is unusual to have a Republican administration put infrastructure spending so high on the priority list and even rarer when it controls both the House and Senate. We have heard President-elect Trump’s statements about rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure and putting Americans back to work. However, I have yet to hear him mention water and wastewater infrastructure. If you read the President-elect’s statement on infrastructure, it’s clear water is not on his radar:
“We will harness technology and make smarter decisions on how we build and utilize our infrastructure. Our roads, bridges, airports, transit systems and ports will be the envy of the world and enhance the lives of all Americans. We will build the roads, highways, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways of tomorrow.”
This, my friends, is a big problem. President-elect Trump is a developer, and water infrastructure is not on his agenda. How can this be? We are certain to reap the rewards of a pro-business Congress and administration, but convincing them that water and wastewater infrastructure are also in desperate need of attention will require effort from every individual reading this column.
The way I see it, we have a fairly narrow window to accomplish this before President-elect Trump takes office and priorities change. They always do. Things happen. Do you hear that knock on your door? That’s me asking you to open the door and come get involved in NUCA. Not since the Reagan Administration have we had a very pro-business president. President Reagan made major policy changes in favor of industry, most notably, significant cuts to the corporate tax rate, but he also all but gutted the federal SRF program. If President-elect Trump is really committed to infrastructure, then the water infrastructure programs should flourish, but it won’t happen without a significant effort from our industry.
So this month, I am asking each of you to take action and commit to two of the three things below for the good of your industry. They are quick, simple, affordable and critical for moving our infrastructure agenda forward.
- Communicate with the President-elect’s transition team. Visit www.greatagain.gov, click on SHARE YOUR STORY and tell them that fixing our failing water and wastewater infrastructure must be on their list of infrastructure priorities. Tell them your company’s name, its location and that you are a utility contractor who sees the deplorable condition of our water and wastewater infrastructure every day (no pun intended to anyone thrown in the “basket of deplorables”).
- Join NUCA. The larger we are, the more impact our organization will have on public policy. If you left NUCA in the last 10 years for any reason, please put those reasons aside for the good of your industry and come back to the organization that continues to work every day to make running your business easier. We need your knowledge and involvement and we will happily welcome you back. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, and she will get you signed up.
- Already a member? Then now is the time to get involved. Too many of you have stood on the sidelines and watched what NUCA volunteers and staff are doing for the industry and your companies. It’s time to come take a seat at the table and help us push back burdensome regulations and legislation that hurt our industry and protect and create federal water funding programs. If you are not sure how to get involved, email me and we can talk about the issues most important to you and how you can help.
I strongly believe we have a real opportunity to make a difference in the business climate, improve industry conditions and grow our companies. NUCA, as an organization, must grow, unite, increase participation and, most importantly, act to make the most of the opportunities that President-elect Trump has laid before us.
Opportunity is knocking. I hope you will open the door.