Board of Directors adopts APWA advocacy priorities for 2002-03

Jim Fahey
Director of Government Relations
APWA Washington office

At its meeting during the APWA International Public Works Congress and Exposition in Kansas City, Missouri, the APWA Board of Directors approved advocacy priorities for 2003 and for the remainder of 2002.

The priorities, which were recommended by the APWA Government Affairs Committee, look ahead to the issues of 2003 and continue the strong emphasis on core public works advocacy efforts, including transportation funding and reauthorization of TEA-21; investment in wastewater, drinking water and stormwater infrastructure and services; and emergency preparedness, response and infrastructure protection.

In addition to adopting advocacy priorities, the Board of Directors reaffirmed the three overarching principles that guide member advocacy efforts and serve to define the essential goals of APWA's advocacy priorities. Those principles are:

  1. Support for adequate investment in public infrastructure.
  2. Respect for local authority.
  3. Reasonable regulations and protection from unfunded mandates.
The following are the advocacy priorities the APWA Board of Directors adopted for 2002-03:

Full-Funding for Transportation Programs
Objective: Increase federal investment in transportation infrastructure and programs; protect the integrity of transportation trust funds and the framework of TEA-21.

Implementation and Reauthorization of TEA-21
Objective: Support the full and timely implementation of TEA-21 and its reauthorization.

Wastewater and Drinking Water Infrastructure Funding
Objective: Increase the federal investment in wastewater and drinking water infrastructure.

Comprehensive Stormwater Management and Funding
Objectives: Support solutions that promote a comprehensive approach to stormwater management that recognizes the quality of life benefits associated with such actions. Support funding for the research pilot projects that support the development of best management practices.

Federal Emergency Relief Funding
Objective: Achieve increased funding for local agencies, more rapid disbursement of funding, and quicker response in pre- and post-disaster events.

Air Quality Standards
Objective: Support solutions that protect air quality and promote the efficient and cost-effective delivery of public works services.

Local Control of Public Rights-of-Way
Objective: Protect local control over public rights-of-way.

Security of Public Works Facilities and Systems
Objective: Support implementation of security measures necessary to protect the public with required funding.

APWA will communicate these priorities to policymakers and legislators through the work of the various APWA committees, chapters and task forces and through the recently established Legislative Advocacy Task Force, a grassroots network of APWA members formed to advocate on behalf of public works issues. You can find out more about the Legislative Advocacy Task Force, the Government Affairs Committee or APWA's advocacy programs and efforts on APWA's website, www.apwa.net/govtaffairs, or by contacting the Washington office at 202-408-9541.