ASA has named government relations expert Mike Oscar, managing partner, Gray & Oscar, LLC, a government relations consulting firm with offices in Alexandria, Va., and Philadelphia, Pa., as its Chief Advocacy Officer, effective Dec. 5. Oscar will lead ASA’s government and industry advocacy programs, including federal legislation, government regulations, and industry collaboration and coalitions. He will also work closely with ASA chapters to establish and maintain effective grassroots advocacy programs.
“The ASA Search Committee—composed of ASA Executive Committee members—conducted an exhaustive, six-month search for the right person to direct the Association’s advocacy initiatives into the future,” said 2018-19 ASA President Courtney Little, president and general counsel, ACE Glass Construction, Little Rock, Ark. “Certainly, Oscar has big shoes to fill, and the ASA Executive Officers and Board of Directors are confident that Oscar and his team will successfully execute our strategic legislative action plan and accomplish our advocacy goals, including cultivating and establishing new industry alliances.”
Oscar has nearly 20 years of experience in government affairs and 12 years of service on Congressional staff. During his tenure on Capitol Hill, Oscar worked in both Republican and Democratic offices in the U.S. House and Senate, giving him rare institutional knowledge of both chambers and caucuses. His bipartisan experience in Congress has equipped him with a unique set of contacts and networks to access on behalf of ASA. In both public and private practice, Oscar has been deeply involved in key construction subcontractor issues, including prompt payment, the mechanic’s lien law, government procurement, funding for apprenticeship training programs, public-private partnerships, and worker misclassification. His regulatory experience spans multiple federal and state agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (lead paint remediation), International Trade Commission (tariff), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (workforce safety and silica and beryllium exposure limits), and the U.S. Department of Labor (bid solicitations, worker misclassification, overtime regulations and National Labor Relations Board rulings), Commerce (economic development), and Agriculture (risk management and international trade). As a representative for a national construction trade association, Oscar successfully spearheaded an effort to secure a U.S. Court of International Trade decision regarding aluminum extrusions for curtainwall units.
At Gray & Oscar, Oscar has represented major construction trade associations for over a decade. The team at Gray & Oscar includes government relations experts with broad and extensive background in local, state and federal government, as well as judicial and executive branch and political and non-profit campaign experience.
“It’s truly an exciting time for ASA as we chart a new path and look to the future,” said ASA Chief Operating Officer Richard Bright. “We now have an entire team devoted not only to our advocacy and industry initiatives, but also our growing Chapter Network. Oscar and his team will be a tremendous resource and advocacy coach for our 30-plus chapters across the country and will work closely with our chapters to establish and maintain effective grassroots advocacy programs.”
Oscar has a successful track-record on implementing ASA priorities at the state level. In Pennsylvania, Oscar was instrumental in developing a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers to implement the state’s prompt pay law, as well as an update to the mechanic’s lien law. The Pennsylvania Prompt Pay law was enacted under divided government with overwhelming bipartisan majorities.
In joining ASA, Oscar and his team will:
- Formulate and execute a strategic legislative action plan for pertinent federal legislation;
- Determine relevant federal agencies willing to assist with ASA;
- Garner support of various labor management associations for federal legislation;
- Organize meetings with appropriate federal legislators and their staff, along with the relevant federal agency staff;
- Manage and administrate the ASA Attorneys’ Council;
- Manage the ASA Subcontractors Legal Defense Fund and the Foundation of ASA’s Subcontractors Legal Research Fund;
- Establish and maintain a grassroots advocacy program to support the ASA chapters;
- Mentor and coach ASA chapters on understanding and participating in the legislative process;
- Continue to identify and build the next generation of ASA-member subcontractor advocates;
- Represent ASA within construction and industry coalitions, along with establishing and leading such coalitions when appropriate;
- Coordinate and develop an effective advocacy communication campaign for ASA membership;
- Serve as an advocacy staff liaison to ASA membership, Executive Committee, and Board of Directors.