As 2018 nears its halfway point, I have visited a fair amount of AGC areas and participated in several area meetings. It’s been illuminating to see unique partnerships between district offices and their contractors, and how different approaches work for different areas. It is evident that area control is a highly successful model for a statewide Chapter as big as AGC of Texas.
The local control model is also evident with our PAC successes around the state. The primary season is over and pro-transportation advocates won overwhelmingly statewide. In general, our friends won big, and area members played a large part in securing those victories—both at the polling places and during their campaigns.
While we organize statewide fundraising for statewide and key transportation candidates, local races—and the means to support them—are very much directed by local areas. AGC staff serves to advise, support, and coordinate the will of the area members.
PAC funds are raised locally and stay local. In recent years, areas have created fresh events like quail hunts, fishing tournaments, and family shrimp boils to augment the traditional golf tournaments that have been the foundation of our funding efforts. These new ideas help draw a larger base, but still serve the local area PACs.
Most importantly, the men and women who support PAC efforts also direct how the funds are used.
As the primary season shifts to the general campaign season, robust PAC activities will continue to support the candidates who support investment in our industry. And members who participate in their local PAC events will have a hand in shaping the outcome of these elections.
PAC events are a great way to enter AGC leadership. It’s how I got my start, and in addition to being a valuable use of time, it also provided me a hands-on education in transportation policy, politics, and funding.
As TxDOT contractors, we are 100 percent reliant on government funding to allow us to do what we do. To neglect the election process—to squander our opportunity to support the leaders who support us—is to neglect our very means for funding. I urge all of you to take a more active role in your local PAC. You will get back more than you give.
Serving on the AGC of Texas Board of Directors for 2018: (sitting left to right) Immediate Past President Seth Schulgen (Williams Brothers); President Chad Clark (Clark Construction of Texas); President-Elect Trey Pebley (Foremost Paving); Standing, Danette Shelton (Roadway Specialties); Bob Kober (Knife River); J. Barry Clark (Peachtree Construction); Wade Miller (Big Creek Construction); Robert Adamson(Longview Bridge and Road); Ivan Svec (Cherry Demolition); Alfonso Fernandez (J.D. Abrams); Dan Wetzel (Allen Butler Construction); and Jeff Gibson (Gibson & Associates).