I’m Larry Ehl, founder and publisher of Transportation Issues Daily (TID).
After more than two decades as a government affairs and transportation professional – including about eight years as Federal Relations Manager for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) – in 2009 I started what became a nationally recognized blog on federal transportation issues.
My goal was to keep interested parties up to date on the sometimes chaotic, mystifying, and always-changing state of affairs around federal and national transportation policy and funding.
I got my start in the byzantine world of federal affairs on the inside, working for U.S. Senator Slade Gorton. I started as staff assistant and finished as Chief of Staff and a member of the leadership team that propelled Sen. Gorton to re-election. The experiences opened my eyes to how important it is for organizations to understand the federal bureaucracy and processes.
I’ve dedicated my career since to demystifying government for stakeholders who don’t have the time or resources to do so themselves.
Throughout my eight years with WSDOT, I worked on and often led the creation and execution of strategic communications and advocacy plans for the WSDOT executive team, the Governor’s staff and Members of Congress and staff; staffed the WSDOT Secretary on the National Association of State Highway Transportation Officials work and in her role as Chair of the States for Passenger Rail Coalition; and in 2009 I served as Secretary for the 18-member Western Association of State Transportation Departments. I learned much about the varied interests and needs that differed from public agency to public agency.
At WSDOT, I interpreted and prepared summaries and action plans about federal activities for engineers, planners, and other transportation stakeholders. Even congressional staffers say they found the reports valuable. I also have informally advised more than 100 cities, counties, ports, tribes and businesses about congressional and federal transportation issues and processes when they needed more information and analysis.
I’ve seen the impact of government policies in the private sector, too, as Director of Corporate and Government Relations for Fisher Companies, Inc., where I led involvement in federal, state and local legislative and regulatory issues for the corporation’s divisions of broadcast media, commercial real estate, and flour milling/food products distribution. That experience bolstered the understanding I gained in my first job in corporate advertising and finance at a major Los Angeles-based retail company of how profoundly government policies can impact private organizations.
So the bottom line for TID subscribers – including you, I hope – is that I “get” government and how it can impact you and your organization. With TID, every day I’ll scan hundreds of sources and then apply my two-plus decades of state DOT, Congressional and corporate experience to provide you with what you need to know, what’s likely to happen, and how all that might affect your organization.
I hope you’ll subscribe to TID, and if you have any questions, or want to discuss consultation options, just email me at Larry@transportationissuesdaily.com. I look forward to connecting with you and helping you and your organization through the federal maze!
- In the public sector, Larry was Federal Relations Manager for Washington State DOT; Chief of Staff to US Senator Slade Gorton; and was twice elected to the Edmonds School Board.
- In the private sector, Larry was Director of Corporate and Government Relations for Fisher Companies, Inc., and started his career in advertising and finance at a major LA-based retail company.
- In the non-profit sector, Larry served many years on the Cascade Land Conservancy Board and also chaired the Snohomish County Board.
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