ASCE's annual priority issues are determined with member engagement. Each summer a survey is sent to all U.S. based ASCE members requesting their input. Responses are then ranked with the top 5-7 issues becoming the “priority issues”. These issues are then approved by the Public Policy and Practice Committee and ultimately the Board of Direction each October.
In an effort to narrow the focus and to better deploy our government relations resources, the Public Policy and Practice Committee has identified the following priorities for 2023:
- Climate and hazards mitigation (codes and standards, adaptation, pre-disaster mitigation, etc.)
- Cybersecurity (keeping critical infrastructure systems secure)
- Energy grid (generation, distribution, and transmission, etc.)
- Transportation (aviation, bridges, ports, rail, roads, and transit)
- Water infrastructure (drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater)
- Water resources (dams, inland waterways, levees)
- Workforce and education (STEM, expanding the leadership pipeline)
Priority issues are listed in alphabetical order. The fact that an issue is not included does not constrain ASCE action if supported by ASCE policy.
ASCE’s public policy outreach is guided by four Principles for Infrastructure Investment, which are:
- Investments must provide substantial, long-term benefits to the public and the economy.
- The cost of a project over its entire life span – including designing, building, operating, and maintaining the infrastructure – must be taken into account.
- Projects should be built sustainably and resiliently.
- Federal investment should leverage state, local, and private investment, not replace these other critical sources of infrastructure funding.
ASCE acknowledges the importance of social justice in the study and practice of civil engineering by incorporating its tenets into its Code of Ethics, which calls on all members to “acknowledge the diverse historical, social, and cultural needs of the community, and incorporate these considerations in their work,” and to “consider and balance societal, environmental, and economic impacts, along with opportunities for improvement, in their work.”