Grassroots Toolkit & Resources

As a constituent, you will have valuable opportunities to meet with your legislators, develop a genuine rapport and communicate the critical issues facing the construction industry. Your elected officials depend on you. They need to know how proposed legislation will affect the construction industry, the district and especially your company and employees.

Remember, it’s about trust. You do not have to be a member of the same political party as your legislators or agree on every issue, but if they learn to trust and respect your views, you will become an important resource on construction and business-related issues. 

Legislators want to hear from their constituents. They want to know how the policies they're shaping in Lansing (or Washington, D.C.) are affecting you. Any legislator will tell you he or she would rather hear from a constituent than anyone else. Legislators depend on ABC members like you to tell them how proposed legislation or regulations will affect the construction industry, your district and especially your company and its employees. It’s a good idea to seize any opportunity to meet with one of your legislators at town hall meetings or forums in the district, but you don’t have to wait for them to come to you. 

Arrange a Meeting: Proactively organizing a personal meeting or company event is great way to become acquainted.

Before the meeting:

  • Be considerate of your legislator’s schedule. Give them a few weeks' heads-up if you'd like to meet in their Lansing or Washington, D.C. office. Follow up with office staff to ensure they received your request. 
  • Sometimes, legislators may have you meet with staff members who are experts on the issues ABC members care most about. Don't be concerned if you can't meet with the legislator right away! Building relationships with staff is another powerfully effective way to make your voice heard.
  • Be prepared by ensuring you understand the political issues, but don’t forget your personal experience is a powerful asset.
After the meeting:
  • Follow up with a written thank you note summarizing your key points.
  • Keep yourself up to date on what legislators are doing by subscribing to their email or paper newsletters, following them on social media, and making an effort to attend their public events. 
  • Know how they vote on Merit Shop issues and be sure to let them know how any proposed legislation impacts you and your business. Staying informed of your legislators’ activities and positions is vitally important. 
Whether you're an on-the-jobsite skilled worker or a business owner, the choices that lawmakers make have a direct impact on you! Whatever your role in the construction industry, your voice is valid. Lawmakers need to know if they're doing a good job or not. 

Plan a Site Visit: Did you know you can invite a legislator to see the industry at work and meet your employees? It’s a great way to show them how their actions impact your business and employees. Visit the ABC Action Center to find your representative.

No matter how you choose to interact with your legislators, don’t forget to encourage them to support or cosponsor legislation that is critical to ABC. 

The Merit Shop Message is a philosophy that encourages open competition and a free-enterprise approach that awards contracts based solely on merit, regardless of labor affiliation. Merit shop is not union vs. non-union. It’s simply a way of doing business, built on free enterprise. 

How to talk to your employees about the Merit Shop.

Handouts

Legislation Tracking

Up to Date Information on Politics and Policy
ABC ACTION APP
Download the ABC Action app (Google Play | iTunes) to respond to Action Alerts, communicate with federal representatives on policy and regulatory issues, stay up-to-date on critical issues, see how representatives voted, track Key Votes and share information.

ABC wants to hear from you. If you're planning a trip to Lansing or a site visit with a state legislator, feel free to contact ABC of Michigan if you would like any additional resources.

If you're planning a visit in Washington, D.C. or a site visit with federal legislators, contact ABC National Director of Grassroots Chris Carroll.


ABC of Michigan is a statewide trade association representing the commercial and industrial construction industries. Dedicated to open competition, equal opportunity and accountability in construction, ABC members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically, profitably and for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work.