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MAP-21 Op-Ed Outline

Some members of Congress are receiving criticism and are being called fiscally irresponsible on vote scorecards because of their support for MAP-21. To show the industry’s support and appreciation for the two-year transportation bill, please consider writing an opinion piece or letter to the editor and submitting it to your local newspapers. Doing this gives public backing to members who supported a bill that is critical to the nation’s infrastructure, as well as to the asphalt industry, and helps explain to the public the importance of infrastructure spending.

 

Newspapers want submissions to be unique, but you can draw upon this outline to craft your own op-ed.

 

First set up the issue: The passage of MAP-21 at the end of June 2012 (or its enactment at the start of July). Note that the vast majority of representatives and senators voted for the bill, and that the vote was bipartisan.

 

Then outline the importance of transportation funding to the country and to your local community. Try to make people realize that roads are part of their life every single day (no matter if they drive, bike, or use public transit) and they probably don’t give them a second thought.

 

Note that some members of Congress are unfairly under fire for having voted for MAP-21 due to concerns about federal spending, but that MAP-21 is fully funded and does not add to the deficit. The bill may not have been perfect, but ensuring an efficient transportation network is an important federal responsibility and voting for MAP-21 was the right thing to do. You can also point to program changes in MAP-21 that will help speed up construction and give states more flexibility in deciding which projects to fund.

 

Try to give a local spin to the issue. If you can point to the number of jobs your company will preserve or add thanks to MAP-21-related projects, that is great. Or point to troubled roads in the area that will now be able to be rebuilt, repaired, or improved. Specific examples are good.

 

End with a reaffirmation of the importance of the road network to everyone, and with a thank you for either the vote of your local members of Congress for more generally for Congress acting in bipartisan way to pass important legislation.