Your Influence Can Impact the Election
In less than two months, Americans will go to the polls and make their choices as to which candidates are best to represent them, both at the local and national level. Each of these choices is critical, so it is vital that we pay attention to who's running and how they stand on business issues.
As with any election, our involvement and engagement can make a difference. And not just by virtue of the fact that we vote, but by committing ourselves to helping the best candidate win.
We can become involved in numerous ways. The most obvious is for us and our families to vote for pro-business candidates - those who support reducing our regulatory and tax burdens.
Another easy way to become involved is to contribute money toward candidate campaigns... but anyone can do that. More active ways include attending campaign events, placing yard signs outside our businesses and homes, or walking the neighborhood handing out literature. Many of you are leaders in your communities, and your opinions about candidates and who you support matters.
Most importantly, regardless of whether you are a union or non-union contractor, your opinions about upcoming elections matter to your employees. While you may be apprehensive about discussing politics or election topics with your employees, more often than not, employees trust their employer more than anyone else when it comes to voting decisions. Why? Because employers tend to vote for the candidate who is philosophically attuned to business interests. So don't assume that just because your employees may be closely connected to labor that they are automatically Democrats and vote accordingly. I consider myself a Democrat but I have often voted Republican. I supported Cass Ballenger (who is now retiring), a Republican member of Congress, because he supports the issues that most favor my business and my family.
In the next two months - before we vote to elect a President and Congress on November 2nd - I challenge each of you to think about how you might make a difference in the outcome. Read about the candidates; look at their voting records or their position papers on those issues that impact you the most. Talk to your neighbors; put up a yard sign and see how they react. If nothing else, the yard sign will certainly generate a dialogue, and you'll likely find out what they know about the candidates and what, if anything, they are doing to more actively participate in the political process.
If you still do not believe you can make a difference, just remember this: the last election for President was decided by just 500 votes. Your vote DOES make a difference.
About the Author
G. Alan Griffin, President of Griffin Contractors, Inc., has severals years experience in the masonry industry. He is a past president of the Mason Contractors Association of America and the North Carolina Masonry Contractors Association. Griffin grew up working in the masonry business founded in 1957 by his father and grandfather, and has since taken over the family business. Griffin was award the C. DeWitt Brown Leadman Award for exemplary leadership in advancing the masonry industry in 2007.