Friday, February 5, 2010

D.C. Fly-In: Message Delivered

It’s always the lowest, common denominator that gets remembered. There was the year we had day passes on the metrorail system that didn’t start on time and “discovered” a back way around the turnstiles. There was the year that the elevator dropped a few inches short of the floor line with our overloaded group on it. Then there’s the appearance, and continued reappearance, of the wooden Base commemorative in Senator Sherrod Brown’s office.

What will it be this year that gets remembered next time? The Port Authority-led D.C. Fly-In saw a productive and worthwhile 17-hour day had by all involved. With the need for Congressional intervention on federal issues five times over the last five years, this Fly-In effort is an important component in the effort to preserve jobs at The Base.

The day is commemorated on our Facebook page and on our website at Here are some metrics:

• Heath Mayor Mark Johns and Licking County Commissioner Tim Bubb joined us and, late afternoon, accepted an invitation to the West Wing of the White House to share our story. Surely memorable for next year.

• We met with five members of Congress. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and U.S. Representatives Zack Space, Pat Tiberi, Steve Austria, and Bob Latta opened their offices to our contingent.

• The meetings with Senator Brown and Congressman Space ended up occurring in the U.S. Capitol Building. Both opted to keep their scheduled meetings with us despite the overlap of floor votes in their respective chambers.

• We also saw more than a dozen staff members of these D.C. offices, many learning about the Aerospace Center for the first time.

• Collectively, the six-person contingent logged 2,400 flight miles, 28 metrorail segments, 46 security checkpoints, 20+ walking miles, 100+ manhours, and stops in four congressional office buildings, three separate times in the Capitol building, and the West Wing of the White House. All in one day.

I encourage our Aerospace Center personnel to be sure to thank the participants. This is no joy ride. It’s worth noting that not one penny of taxpayer dollars pays for this day. Also, there are no lobbyists involved in any way during the day either.

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