Annual Congressional Fly-In – This year’s fly-in was another very successful advocacy event with over 100 ISRI members visiting about 150 members of Congress and providing a very powerful economic and employment study produced by John Dunham & Associates. The report presented for the first time, a substantive economic, trade and employment picture for the US, each state and each Congressional district. In addition to the impressive economic and employment data, ISRI members advocated on behalf of several important issues facing the scrap recycling industry including our efforts to effectively combat metals theft, our opposition to export controls on electronic scrap, and promoting the significant economic, environmental and safety benefits of using rubberized asphalt in road projects.
The night before the fly-in, ISRI provided extensive training for its membership to enable ISRI members to become fluent in variety of issues and prepared them for an important day visiting with their members of Congress. This year, because of the many pressing issues facing the industry, the fly-in was much more focused on vital committee members. This extra focus enabled ISRI to ensure that the policymakers making decisions on our issues were educated by our industry’s strong grassroots.
The morning of the fly-in, we were lucky enough to have Congressman Mike Ross address the fly-in participants at breakfast. Mr. Ross is not only a very influential member of Congress, a prominent Blue Dog Democrat, and a friend to our industry, but he was in the news the day before for announcing he would not run for re-election. This ‘freedom’ he currently enjoys allowed him to speak very freely to our membership about the political system in America and provide excellent advice to our grassroots advocates who were about to go raise their voices on Capitol Hill. We are very grateful for Mr. Ross’ leadership and friendship to our industry.
And, following a busy day on Capitol Hill, we were again honored to present Congressman John Shimkus of Illinois who is both the House Recycling Caucus Co-Chair and the Chairman of the powerful Environment and Economy Subcommittee with the “Give Recycling a Hand” award at the Second Recycling Works Gala. Mr. Shimkus is another dedicated supporter of our industry.