Jamie Beckett is a CFI and A&P mechanic who stepped into the political arena in an effort to promote and protect GA at his local airport.
In all the hubbub that filled our televisions and newspapers following Election Day, there was very little said about the General Aviation Caucus. That’s no surprise really. Most Americans aren’t aware there is a General Aviation Caucus. In fact, most aviation enthusiasts aren’t aware there is a General Aviation Caucus. But there is. In fact, it’s quite large, including members from more than 40 states.
The GA Caucus is bipartisan, as many special interest caucuses are, which puts Democrats and Republicans in the same room and motivates them to work together to identify and achieve common goals. It is also bicameral, which means that both senators and representatives of the house combine their brain power and political might to get things done that might not be possible if only one body was involved in the cause. At least that’s the theory.
The good news is the GA Caucus has excellent representation, a solid constituency (even if most of its constituents are unaware the caucus exists), and plenty of elbow room if they’re looking to make a positive impact on the world of the general aviation enthusiast, business owner, worker, participant, or student. The question is, do they truly want to make a difference?
This may be the most interesting year in recent political history — or it may be more of the same. Time will tell. But your voice might make a dent in the din of political discourse if you were to put fingers to keyboard, pen to paper, or a phone to your head. Some members of the GA Caucus moved up from the House to the Senate, some moved out from Washington to back home, where they very well may need to find work, and some stayed put — bloodied, but still standing in a few cases. All of them learned an important lesson this year.
Listen up. That’s what the votes had to say. Hear us roar or find the door.
For the first time in recent history, Washington is worried about the voters — a curious event that appears to have come about because the inbreeding in political circles left the political class as tone deaf and out of touch as is humanly possible. Fortunately for us, the voting booth totals woke many complacent political leaders up for the first time this century.
It is up to us to keep the door to Washington open. A door that swings both ways. A door that lets in talented, dedicated, short-duration public servants in, just as efficiently as it sweeps the old, staid, and stodgy placeholders out with yesterday’s trash.
The National Business Aviation Association, never a group to sit still waiting for an indication of where it stands on the issue of general aviation, has published a helpful list of GA Caucus members on its website. You can find it here.
Go take a peek, if you dare. See if your congressman or senator is listed. And if they are, I hope you will take the time to jot a note now and then, make a call to their office, and possibly shoot an e-mail detailing your support for their work on behalf of general aviation – assuming they are doing work on behalf of general aviation.
Knowing that the public has to keep an eye on government to get results is only half the battle. Knowing who those people are who need watching is the other half. Thanks to the NBAA, we have that information available as easily as you found this post. So go forth you brave GA Soldier of Freedom. Seek out your representation in Washington and let them know that you believe in the future of general aviation in America as a rich, vibrant, user-fee-free engine of the economy. Plus, you know exactly how much fun it is.
Let’s see where that conversation goes over the next two years, shall we?
You can reach Jamie at Jamie@GeneralAviationNews.com.