Public Affairs

    Committee Chair: Mike Koehler

    The Public Affairs Committe ensures that section members and public officials and bodies are informed of matters where the knowledge and practice of chemistry is of substantial public importance. These matters can include government issues, environmental issues and the social responsibility of chemists. The Public Affairs Committee gives the Public Affairs Award biennially.

    Recent Activity

    Project: Continuing to strengthen relationships with elected officials in Springfield. On May 8th, 2018, Mike Koehler, Chair of Public Affairs went to Springfield to meet with several members of the Illinois Legislature. During the visit, he attended the Senate legislative session and committee meetings on K-12 education and higher education. It provided great insight into the legislative process and the key Illinois legislators.  

    We also participated in the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois’ Annual Legislative and Regulatory Reception. The meeting was very well attended by industry leaders in Illinois, key Illinois government agency leaders and Illinois legislators. Senator Tom Rooney and Representative Tom Morrison attended the event with Mike Koehler in order to better connect with the legislative and industry perspectives.


    Illinois Representative Tom Morrisson (L, IL-54), Chicago ACS Public Affairs Chair Mike Koehler (C), and Illinois Senator Tom Rooney (R, IL-27) at the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois’ Annual Legislative and Regulatory Reception, May 2018.


    Senator Tom Rooney (L) and ACS' Mike Kohler.

    Project: Sending questionnaires to candidates for elected state offices to see how they stand on issues relevant to the chemical enterprise.

    Project: Working with elected officials to recognize the Chicago Section on its upcoming 125th anniversary.

    Project: Working with state officials to recognize the International Year of the Periodic Table (its 150th anniverary)

    ACS President's Awards

    Led by Mike Koehler, our work has been recognized by the American Chemical Society with THREE recent ChemLuminary awards - the ACS President's Award for Local Section Government Affairs in 2013, 2015, and 2016.


    2016 ACS President's Award for Local Section Government Affairs. CITATION: "The Chicago Local Section coordinated a multi-event program exploring the chemistry of municipal water systems. Three events attracted 230 attendees, and communicated chemistry’s role in addressing the world’s challenges to the public and policymakers."

    • Photo from the award ceremony in Philadelphia shows (?), Mike Kohler (Chicago ACS Public Affairs Chair), and Donna Nelson (2016 ACS President).


    2015 ACS President's Award for Local Section Government Affairs. CITATION: "Chicago worked with U.S. Senator Mark Kirk to ensure support for science education in the Every Student Succeeds Act, which led to legislation funding professional development for STEM teachers, an ACS priority."

    Photo from the award ceremony in Philadelphia shows Susan Butts (ACS Corporate Associates Representative), Mike Kohler (Chicago ACS Public Affairs Chair), and Diane Grob Schmidt (2015 ACS President):


    2013 ACS President's Award for Local Section Government Affairs. CITATION: "A meeting with Congressman Danny Davis was held to present the congressman with key ACS positions on STEM education, research funding, and Helium legislation. The meeting also engaged the Section in the Altgeld Gardens Revitalization Project, a “Big Ideas” Program to revitalize an impoverished community on Chicago's Southside."

    Photo from the award ceremony in San Francisco shows (?), Marinda Wu (2013 ACS President), Barbara Moriarty (2013 Chicago ACS Public Affairs Co-Chair), and Mike Kohler (2013 Chicago ACS Public Affairs Co-Chair):

    Take action! - How to Engage Legislators

    Want to take action on a public policy issue by contacting your representatives in the U.S. Congress? We're here to help!

    Jen Walling recommendationsFIRST STEP: Who may contact elected officials?

    ANYONE! You don't need to be registered voter or even a citizen. But elected officials respond best to their own constituents - people who live, work, or study in their districts. Note that everyone in the nation is considered a constituent of the Speaker of the House and Chairs of Congressional committees.

    SECOND STEP: Choose your method

    At our March 2017 meeting, we received some coaching from Jen Walling, the Executive Director of the Illinois Environmental Council, which helps legislators with their work and advocates for certain legislation. She indicated the most effective ways of getting legislators' attention are, in most-to-least order:

    1. Develop an ongoing relationship - making regular contact
    2. Meet them in person
    3. Write a personally-composed email or paper letter - not a form letter.
    4. Make a phone call
    5. Write/sign a form email, letter, or sign a petition

    THIRD STEP: Identify your recipients.

    When aiming to influence legislation it is effective to contact representatives specific to your state or district. The Chicago Section comprises seven counties in Illinois and Indiana. Everyone in a state is free to contact their two U.S. Senators. The Chicago Section includes portions of 12 U.S. House Districts, and their boundaries are quite convoluted and do not necessarily align with boundaries of counties or cities. To find your U.S. House Representative, you need to use an online tool that uses your precise street address (home, work, or school).

    U.S. Executive - everyone may contact

    President Donald J. Trump The White House
    Office of the President
    1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
    Washington D.C. 20500
    (202) 456-1111 https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/
    Vice-President
    The White House
    Office of the Vice President
    1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
    Washington D.C. 20500
    (202) 456-1111

     

    U.S. Senate - choose based on state

    IL Sen. Dick Durbin
       senior
    711 Hart Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510
    (202) 224-2152
    (312) 353-4952
    Electronic https://www.durbin.senate.gov/contact/
    IL Sen. Tammy Duckworth 528 Hart Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510
    (202) 224-2854
    (312) 886-3506
    Electronic https://www.duckworth.senate.gov/content/contact-senator
               
    IN Sen. Joe Donnelly
       senior
    720 Hart Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510
    (202) 224-4814
    (812) 425-5813
    Electronic https://www.donnelly.senate.gov/contact
    IN Sen. Todd C. Young 420 Russell Senate Office Building
    Washington, DC 20510
    (202) 224-5623
    (317) 226-6700
    Electronic https://www.young.senate.gov/content/contact-senator

     

    U.S. House - choose based on street address: http://www.house.gov

    IL-1 Bobby L. Rush 2188 Rayburn House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515
    (202) 225-4372
    (773) 779-2400
    Electronic https://rush.house.gov/contact
    IL-2 Robin L. Kelly 1239 Longworth House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515
    (202) 225-0773

    Electronic https://robinkelly.house.gov/contact
    IL-3 Daniel Lipinski 2346 Rayburn House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515
    (202) 225-5701
    (708) 424-0853
    Electronic https://lipinski.house.gov/contact-us/
    IL-4 Luis V. Gutierrez 2408 Rayburn House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515
    (202) 225-8203
    (773) 342-0774
    Electronic http://gutierrezforms.house.gov/contact/
    IL-5 Mike Quigley 2458 Rayburn House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515
    (202) 225-4061
    (773) 267-5926
    Electronic  https://quigley.house.gov/contact
    IL-6 Peter J. Roskam 2246 Rayburn House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515
     
    (202) 225-4561
    (630) 232-0006
    Electronic https://roskam.house.gov/contact
    IL-7 Danny K. Davis 2159 Rayburn House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515
    (202) 225-5006
    (773) 533-7520
    Electronic https://davis.house.gov/contact-me/
    IL-8 Raja Krishnamoorthi 515 Cannon House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515
    (202) 225-3711
    (847)-413-1959
    Electronic https://krishnamoorthi.house.gov/contact
    IL-9 2367 Rayburn House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515
    (202) 225-2111
    (773) 506-7100 
    Electronic

    https://schakowsky.house.gov/contact/
    IL-10 Bradley Scott Schneider 1432 Longworth House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515
    (202) 225-4835
    (847) 383-4870
    Electronic https://schneider.house.gov/contact
    IL-11 Bill Foster 1224 Longworth House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515
    (202) 225-3515
    (630) 585-7672
    Electronic http://foster.house.gov/contact
    IL-14 Randy Hultgren 2455 Rayburn House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515
    (202) 225-2976
    (630) 584-2734
    Electronic http://hultgren.house.gov/contact
               
    IN-1 Peter J. Visclosky 2328 Rayburn House Office Building
    Washington, DC 20515
    (202) 225-2461
    (219) 795-1844
    Electronic https://visclosky.house.gov/contact-pete

     

    COMMITTEES - Full list: https://www.congress.gov/committees

    Note: Committee Chairs are all appointed by the majority party of the corresponding chamber (House or Senate). The "Ranking Member" is the leader of the minority party within the committee. In this list, we have added committee members who represent part of the Chicago Section; the Section is therefore a constituent of those members of Congress.

     U.S. Senate Committees of particular interest to chemists (April 2017)

    Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Chair = Pat Robertson
    IN Member = Joe Donnelly
    Members      
    Commerce, Science, and Transportation Chair = John Thune
    IL Member = Tammy Duckworth
    IN Member = Todd Young
    Members      
    Energy and Natural Resources Chair = Lisa Murkowski
    IL member = Tammy Duckworth
    Members      
    Environment and Public Works Chair = John Barrasso
    IL member = Tammy Duckworth
    Members      
    Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions Chair = Lamar Alexander
    IN member = Todd Young
    Members      
    Small Business & Entrepreneurship Chair = James Risch
    IL member = Tammy Duckworth
    IN Member = Todd Young
    Members      

     

    U.S. House Committees of particular interest to chemists (April 2017)

    Agriculture Chair = K. Michael Conway
    Ranking Member = Collin C. Peterson
    Members      
    Education and the Workforce Chair = Virginia Foxx
    Ranking Member = Robert C. "Bobby" Scott
    IL-8 Member = Raja Krishnamoorthy
    Members      
    Energy and Commerce Chair = Greg Walden
    Ranking Member = Frank Pallone
    IL-1 Member = Bobby Rush
    IL-9 Member = Jan Schakowsky
    Members      
    Natural Resources Chair = Bob Bishop
    Ranking Member = Raul Grijalva
    Members      
    Science, Space, and Technology Chair = Lamar Smith
    Ranking Member = Eddie Bernice Johnson
    IL-3 Member = Daniel Lipinski
    IL-11 Member = Bill Foster
    IL-14 Member = Randy Hultgren
    Members      
    Small Business Chair = Steve Chabot
    Ranking Member = Nydia Velazquez
    IL-10 Member = Brad Schneider
    Members      

    .

    Public Affairs Committee

    The Public Affairs Committe ensures that section members and public officials and bodies are informed of matters where the knowledge and practice of chemistry is of substantial public importance. These matters can include government issues, environmental issues and the social responsibility of chemists. The Public Affairs Committee gives the Public Affairs Award biennially.  More info.

    Public Affairs Committee Chair

    Michael George Koehler
    e-mail: mgkoehler@proaaci.com