Arkansas Trucking Association

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Up Front- Famous Redhead

DSCF7709 smallShannon Newton
President, ATA

In early April, I traveled with a group of Arkansas trucking executives to Washington D.C. to meet with our delegation and share our experiences and asks on important policy issues, as part of our annual Call on Washington.

The trip can feel like a whirlwind.

In two days, our attendees had a briefing with the American Trucking Associations representatives on current initiatives and proposed legislation that affect trucking, followed by face-to-face meetings with all six members of the Arkansas delegation. We had claimed time and attention between committee meetings and intelligence briefings to talk about infrastructure, the supply chain struggles, workforce barriers and lawsuit reform. It was a lot of ground to cover—both policy and literally as we hustled from office to office by trolley, foot and with an escort. 

Per usual, the best laid plans and priorities were rearranged by presidential appointments, top secret security briefings and floor votes on several pieces of legislation in the House of Representatives. One meeting was rescheduled and held in conjunction with a reception and another was convened impromptu at the bottom of a staircase where those with top-secret clearance can view some of the country's most classified information.

Even though I’ve led or attended Call on Washington events for most of my tenure with ATA, there’s always novelty with each trip. More times than not, breaking news unexpectedly reshapes our conversations. Whatever happens on the 58-acre lot of the Capitol grounds makes national news. Stepping onto the hill can be like stumbling into the headlines.

On Tuesday afternoon, we wrapped our best and final meeting. When we walked out of Hart Senate Office Building, proud all we’d accomplished and relieved the work was complete, we faced one more surprise.

As we exited, police were standing in the street directing pedestrians. Streets were blocked off. Yellow tape hung from cone to cone where we had been dropped off earlier. We were directed across one street, and then another, far from our intended path in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Eventually, curiosity got the best of us. As we passed yet another officer, someone asked what was going on. With a nonchalance contradicting the uneasy crowd, “Just another day on Capitol Hill” he quipped.

We continued on our way, unsure if we missed a glimpse of a famous dignitary or were spared a dangerous encounter. We made our way back to enjoy dinner and fellowship that evening. Late that night, just as I had forgotten about the incident, I saw on the news what had obstructed our path—a rabid redhead.

A wild fox was running around the grounds and bit nine people. Capitol Police captured the fox, and public health officials confirmed she tested positive for rabies. As we flew home on Wednesday, more of the story unfurled: The den had been found; the Capitol fox officially had its own Twitter page and celebrity status; and her victims were already treated and back to work. We’d walked through the story, avoided a bite and made some solid connections with our representatives and senators about the less furry, but very real obstacles that trucking faces every day.

Contact Us

Arkansas Trucking Association
PO Box 3476 (72203)
1401 West Capitol Ave.
Suite 185
Little Rock, AR 72201

(501) 372-3462 | Phone
(501) 376-1810 | Fax

Our Mission

  • PROTECT the collective interests of trucking companies in the political and regulatory arenas.
  • PROMOTE the dynamics of trucking so that people have a better understanding of the link between America's primary freight delivery system and the standard of living they enjoy.
  • SERVE our members to help them to grow their business and their profits
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