Lobbying for construction is a way for the construction industry to influence the political process. The process consists of lobbying and advocacy efforts by special interest groups, lobbyists, and the general public to get what they want from politicians and policy makers. Lobbying efforts for the construction industry vary widely depending on the amount of money spent and the subject matter of the lobbying efforts.
Lobbying for public works projects
Lobbying for public works projects is a form of political campaigning that involves communications between a business and a state official. These communications can range from advertising to describing goods and services to requesting commercial information. The purpose of lobbying for a public works project is to gain access to a public official, who may not have the authority to approve or deny the work.
Lobbying involves communicating with legislative and executive branch officials and other officials for a specific purpose. It can be used for promoting or opposing legislation, amending state laws, or influencing the election or appointment of state officials. It can also be done for a nonprofit organization that wants to influence a state official to support a certain project.
Working with like-minded Associations
When lobbying for legislation that affects construction, working with like-minded Associations can have a powerful impact. Some industry associations hire lobbyists to advocate on their behalf, but many other groups do not. Instead, they form a coalition of industry groups that work together to identify issues of mutual importance and develop an advocacy strategy. The groups then meet with elected and appointed officials to discuss the issues.
Finding receptive members of Congress
Visiting congressional offices is a great way to ask for support for legislation related to construction. This will provide a tangible backdrop for your lobbying efforts, and will also give you a chance to build relationships with members of Congress. According to Bradford Fitch, president of the Congressional Management Foundation and author of Citizens’ Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials, members of Congress view such visits as among the most valuable of all activities.
Developing a “strength in numbers” campaign
Developing a “strength-in-numbers” campaign for construction lobbying can help you get your message across to elected officials. Some construction industry associations employ lobbyists to lobby on their behalf, but many local and state associations do not. Instead, they form a coalition and identify issues that are of mutual interest. Then, they develop an advocacy strategy and schedule meetings with elected and appointed officials.
The Associated General Contractors of NYS and other trade associations in the region work together to oppose pending legislation. Together, they work with lobbyists, like Hill, Gosdeck & McGraw, LLC. They also collaborate with the Finishing Contractors Association of Wall and Ceiling International. Their Executive Director travels to Washington D.C. once a year to lobby the federal government.