PACE News

 
Congressional District Office Visit (CARE)
 
Friday, August 31, 2001
 
The subject I used in making the appointment for the meeting held today
with my congressman, Ric Keller (R-8th Dist. Fla.) and his chief of staff
was the Lipinski/Dooley/Thomas/Fletcher amendment to the Patient Bill of
Rights, to permit association health plans. We had an August 1 alert on
this, and the problem has occurred with the Financial Advantage program --
we can't offer the Cigna plan to members in NY, NJ, and WA.
 
Congressman Ric Keller noted that this amendment was included in the bill
as passed by the House (he supported it), and promised to watch for it
after the Senate passes its version and the bill goes to conference.
 
Keller is on the Education and the Workforce Committee and on the
Intellectual Property Subcomittee of the Judiciary Committee. I had
printed out two copies of the legislative agenda from the IEEEUSA website
for the meeting (one for the district office, one for the Washington
office). Keller's chief of staff, Mike Miller, recalled having received
the printed version at the Washington office (our logo was distinctive and
stuck in his mind). I went over with him our positions dealing with
precollege education, immigration, continuing education (deductibility of
graduate study reimbursement under Sect. 127), contract engineers (Sect.
1706), cash balance pension plans, pension portability, federal R&D, a
balanced aeronautics and space program (not cannibalized by the space
station budget needs), Intellectual property, and the need for reliability
of electric power under deregulation (we had a blackout across part of
Florida a couple of years ago that resulted from lessened cooperation among
power companies -- a feeder line on the east coast was overloaded when a
number of plants were out of service. The line tripped out and took power
down for several thousand customers on the northwest coast. It took
several days to restore all power.).
 
Keller is very focused on economic development for central Florida (Miller
noted that he was elected with 48% of the vote and wants reelection) so has
strong interest in our issues. Precollege focus is important to him on two
fronts: better literacy and math skills for high school students joining
the work force in any capacity, and attracting students to engineering
studies -- a report of the NAE effort to attract women to engineering had
just appeared in the newspaper). Miller had just toured the traffic
control facility at Orlando International Airport, so was interested in
upgrades to enroute, approach, and ground air traffic control. He had seen
the slips of paper on wood blocks that are passed back and forth among
controllers to keep track of aircraft. Autonomous navigation with GPS and
transponders allowing aircraft to avoid each other enroute without ground
controllers seemed a good idea to him.
 
I reinforced the idea that IEEE-USA is a resource available to a
congressman needing assessments of legislation on our issues.
 
Miller promised to keep me informed on progress of the Association Health
Plans legislation. The whole visit lasted 30 minutes, even though I had
asked for only ten minutes. As Lee Stogner pointed out, arriving early
gives the visitor an advantage if the previous appointment ends early.
 
 
George F. McClure
g.mcclure@ieee.org
Ph. 407-647-5092
Fax 407-644-4076
1730 Shiloh Lane
Winter Park, FL 32789
 
 

CARE Project Info

 
Fellow PACE Volunteers,
 
IEEE-USA has challenged you and
the entire PACE organization to seek out and contact each of the
535 Members of Congress - your Senators and Representatives - in a
grassroots attempt to show that IEEE is not merely four letters, but
is real and constituents like yourselves are ready to pick up the
challenge to contact your representatives if needed.
 
The goal of the CARE program is to have IEEE U.S. members make a
constituent visit on their U.S. Senators and/or Representative in
their District or Washington, DC office sometime during the 107th
Congress (2001-2002) with the overall purpose of building relationships
between engineers and Members of Congress while raising Congressional
awareness (of IEEE) and appreciation of science and technology.
 
Although many of us are interested in other important PACE activities,
we need to see that our local 'Society' is served well by our Members
of Congress when we need IEEE recommended legislation to be acted upon.
It is our profession and IEEE-USA helps us to defend it. Be sure to log on
at:
http://www.ieeeusa.org/forum/care
to make YOUR pledge to this good cause.
 
Your CARE Pledge says that you have agreed to meet with one or
more Members of Congress. IEEE-USA President Ned Sauthoff has said
"Constituent contact lets them know that the issue is important, that
it affects their state or district, and that voters are concerned
enough to act. A few knowledgeable engineers who speak out can have
a significant impact, especially on complex technological issues on
which engineers have special expertise." (See Ned's entire challenge
to the PACE Network below.) I know we are all busy. Please see what
you can do to free up a little time in support of this effort - YOUR
pensions, livelihood, and career may be in future jeopardy if you don't
act now...
 
Please contact me if you have any questions. So far only a few of us
have pledged so far - let's try to make our Region 3 PACE
presence felt by actively joining this program.
 
Thanks for your help,
 
Don
 
Don Hill
PAOC Chair 2001
1676 Donelwal Drive
Lexington KY 40511-9021
 
H 859 259 0740
W 859 257 8487
C 859 489 IEEE
F 859 323 3287
d.w.hill@ieee.org
 
 
Ned's Challenge:
================
IEEE-USA needs your support to make the Congressional Advocacy Recruitment
Effort (CARE) project a success.
 
The CARE Project is a new IEEE-USA initiative to recruit IEEE volunteers as
grassroots activists for the purposes of building relationships between
engineers and Members of Congress and raising Congressional awareness and
appreciation of science and technology. Our goal is to have IEEE U.S.
members pay a constituent visit on every U.S. Senator and Representative in
their District office sometime during the 107th Congress (2001-2002). The
project also encourages a wide variety of interactions in addition to
traditional visits, such as congressional involvement in National Engineers
Week, participation in tours and demonstrations, and member involvement in
local Town Hall meetings, etc.
 
In order to achieve these goals, IEEE-USA needs you, the volunteers who
make up the PACE Network, to help promote the CARE project in your
sections, chapters, societies, and student branches. Set a personal
example by taking the CARE Pledge and then paying a visit on your Member(s)
of Congress. Then help us to put the word out to others. A strong push
is needed now to take advantage of Congress' August Work Period (August 4 -
September 3), which is the perfect time for visits to congressional
District offices.
 
CARE Project information is available on the PACE Network 2001 CD (which
you will be receiving shortly) and can also be obtained at the CARE website
(http://www.ieeeusa.org/forum/care). In addition to a pledge form and
report form, there are also useful resources including a guide to arranging
a successful congressional visit, a congressional directory, a Powerpoint
presentation on CARE, and a cross-reference of IEEE-USA sections by
congressional district. Please make use of these resources and contact
Chris Brantley in our IEEE-USA Washington office (202-785-0017, x.8347 or
c.brantley@ieee.org) if you need any assistance. The PACE Network leaders
will be following up with you to organize a visitation support process to
ensure that every Senator and Representative is visited.
 
Norm Augustine once remarked, "Engineers today seem to be the stealth
occupation....if we as engineers are unwilling to responsibly speak out on
issues within our realm of expertise, who then will?" The CARE Project
accepts that challenge. But to succeed, we need your help. Please accept
the challenge and help us show that the PACE Network can deliver.
 
Sincerely,
 
Ned R. Sauthoff
2001 President, IEEE-USA
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Updated 10/012001