PAC Plea

Just a thought……

It’s no secret that our industry suffers from a lack of consistent, stable funding. By comparison, so does the MITA PAC, and for a variety of reasons. Politics, in general, have become ugly, polarizing, and just plain disgusting on a certain level. Unfortunately, MITA and its members do not have the luxury of sitting on the sidelines with a wait-and-see attitude to determine what comes to us. You’d think that lawmakers and the public would be more concerned about the quality of the roads and water we drink, but this certainly has not proven to always be the case. In short, the work our industry does for the most part is simply taken for granted and is often perceived as an annoyance. This is a sad but unfortunate truth. However, there is more interest in infrastructure building than ever before and lawmakers are starting to realize the hole that the lack of decades of underfunding has created. MITA must capitalize on this for the hard-working men and women who rely on the good jobs our industry creates and for the quality of life we all know that good infrastructure can provide for business and the residents of the great State of Michigan. In the end, PAC dollars are a bit like advertising dollars – you’re not always certain of what you get for them, but you do know what you get if you don’t spend or raise them, in short: nothing!

Stable funding works for the industry and the state. It allows employers to plan, purchase equipment, and hire based on sound principles rather than guessing on short-term dollars that provide little incentive to invest in the long term on people and or capital improvements that ultimately would provide savings to construction projects as a whole.

Back to the polarizing. MITA does not have the luxury of backing one side of the political aisle or the other. Infrastructure is a bipartisan issue and our collective mission must be to educate the public and all legislators. Translation: we may give PAC dollars to someone you personally would never vote for, an issue I personally grapple with but don’t have the time to dwell on, nor should you.

The goal of the MITA PAC going forward will be first and foremost laser-focused on long-term, sustainable funding as well as the issues that impact construction businesses or the employees that work for them. To accomplish this, we need your monetary help! I feel the best giving comes from the heart, but it is no secret that about 10 percent of membership understands this message, because they’ve been carrying the MITA PAC for the entire industry for far too long. It’s simple math, but if we all gave a modest amount we could have a far better impact on the size and scope of the MITA PAC. The recently resurrected MITA PAC board has set a fundraising goal of $250,000 annually. This is a number that I feel would put MITA in a strong position and place industry concerns as well as the concerns of Michigan residents on the radar for the long term, not just when things get critical. That said, the most MITA has raised is $160,000 and that was post road funding (appreciated, but we should be more concerned prospectively) and a number that was achieved several years ago. MITA and its members must understand that a strong PAC benefits all members, both contractors and associates. A strong, stable PAC will not survive on one-time donations. So please consider how you’d like to give, either quarterly, annually, or even weekly. We are quite alright with whatever smoothing process you create.

MITA’s pledge will be to do a better job of keeping you informed of all we do to keep the industry moving forward in the legislature and public eye. To that end, we will develop talking points to make you a better advocate in your hometown. We are willing to provide back to you MITA PAC dollars to deliver to legislators in your district who understand the importance of a state-of-the-art infrastructure, but only if it aligns with the overall strategy of your PAC Board.

We should all give until it hurts! This means you and your employees. Think about your volume of work and strategize on a plan for consistent, stable funding for the MITA PAC. No donation is too small. I promise you that once giving becomes budgeted and routine it will get easier to do. I again also promise you that MITA will be relentless in churning industry issues in the media and arming you with information to make us all better industry advocates. I personally implore you to give so MITA doesn’t have to chase PAC dollars. MITA would rather be working hard on your behalf than trying to convince you to give to an effort that directly benefits you and your employees and all our families.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request.