Messages from the Hill

Every day your elected officials are making decisions that affect the way you live and work. Don’t let them make those decisions without your input. Your voice counts. Stop Watch talked with those who either work on or frequently visit Capitol Hill to learn more about connecting with lawmakers.

"Transportation is in many ways the lifeblood of our economy, and the people who transport goods to market throughout America have a firsthand perspective on economic conditions. Therefore, your perspective is very helpful to decision makers as we evaluate ways the government can help encourage private sector job growth and make transporting goods and services easier, safer and more cost-effective. The best way to deliver your message is in person to your area’s representative or a designated staff member. Letters and emails are also effective, especially if they contain facts and figures that help make your case.” — Rep. Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.), member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and top Democrat on the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment

"Business owners should make their voices heard about the policies most important to their industries by contacting their congressional representatives on a regular basis. Once constituents elect senators and representatives to office, businesses play a crucial role in guiding those members of Congress to take positions that are favorable to job security and economic growth. Reach out to your members of Congress as often as possible to make an impression of your industry and shed light on which issues are currently affecting your business. Contact Congress consistently to help your senators and representatives fulfill their responsibility to implement policies that are business-friendly. Have your voice heard by writing or emailing your senators and representatives, or call their offices to schedule a meeting to advocate for your industry. If your industry participates in a Day on The Hill, participate by attending in person and meet with members face-to-face with industry colleagues and bring current issues to each member’s attention. Senators and representatives give great consideration to the feedback they get from their constituents as they navigate the legislative process and make decisions on voting and representing their constituents’ best interests.” — Neil Chatterjee, policy advisor for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

"Reaching out to our lawmakers is important because, as we’ve discovered through the visits on the Hill, we’re really the experts about our businesses. The congressional staffers and the legislators that they support get bombarded with various issues from all angles and they really do welcome hearing about our point of view and our perspectives on the industry. In addition to our perspectives, we have the capability of taking a large macro-type issue and putting it in terms they can relate to in terms of their constituents. I think they truly appreciate that. Our input asking a lawmaker to either support or not support issues, such as tolling on the highways and alternate fuels, are welcome, and it gives a fresh perspective.” — Mike Lombardi, chairman of the NATSO Government Affairs Committee


This article originally ran in Stop Watch magazineStop Watch provides in-depth content to assist NATSO members in improving their travel plaza business operations and provides context on trends and news affecting the industry.

The magazine is mailed to NATSO members bimonthly. If you are a member and not receiving Stop Watchsubmit a request to be added to the mailing list. Not a memberJoin today or submit a request to receive additional information.

Mindy Long's photo

Mindy Long

Before launching a full-time freelance career, Long edited NATSO's Stop Watch magazine. Prior to that Long worked as a staff reporter for Transport Topics, a weekly trade newspaper, covering freight transportation, fuel and environmental issues. In addition to covering the transportation sector, Long has written, reported and edited for a variety of media outlets. She was the Washington correspondent for WCAX-TV (CBS) in Burlington, Vt., a criminal court reporter in Chicago and a freelance copy editor for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine in Washington D.C. Long hold a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Ill., and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Westminster College in Salt Lake City.More
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