How can people get involved?
The best way to start is by writing and reading about current events. You need to understand the current issues and stay in touch with what is going on around you. Write to your Congressmen and try to meet with them when they come home to your states. It’s a way to know your government, reach out and get involved in the system.
Why did you decide to meet with your Congressman?
I wanted to express my concern for the listing of styrene in the RoC. I worked with John Schweitzer, ACMA senior director of government affairs, to arrange a meeting with my representative and several others. It helped to put a name and face to Nordic Fiberglass instead of just a letter. This also helped to give another personal story to my home state. They recognize that I made the effort to come all the way from my home in North Dakota to Washington, D.C., and therefore that these issues are important to me.
What did you learn from the experience?
The most important thing I took from the experience is that you, as an individual, need to get more involved in government affairs. Our government representatives are there to represent us and they are willing to listen. Sometimes we need to take the time from our busy schedules to have our concerns pointed out to representatives to let them know what’s working and what’s not.
What would you suggest to someone interested in becoming involved in government affairs?
I would recommend attending Fly-Ins and contacting ACMA to let them know you want to be involved. I worked with John Schweitzer and was completely impressed with the way he handled my request. He responded to me in a timely manner and it was nice to have somebody with me during the experience. It made my entire visit to Washington, D.C. effective and enjoyable. I was able to take in more from the experience and I learned a little bit more about how the system works.