Texas Star Alliance

Texas Star Alliance (TSA) understands relationships matter. Based in Austin, TSA is a boutique public affairs firm, backed by a trusted reputation and a track record of success. When someone has a problem or need related to government, TSA offers government experience and creative ideas to address client issues in government affairs. When an individual, business, or government agency needs to access government in any way, we can help.


Lobbyists have the ability to do what you and your company cannot. They have the experience necessary to find the best solutions, they have essential knowledge about the legislative process, and most importantly, they can access the decision makers who control the process.

Lawmakers listen to people they trust. It may be surprising, but some of the most trusted people in the capitol are lobbyists. Why? They focus on news and statistical information, and they can provide clear, evaluated views of the political landscape surrounding a particular issue. Lobbyists have this information due to fostered relationships with staff, agency heads, and other key decision makers. Good lobbyists put these relationships to work for their clients.

The construction industry is complex, and education is one of the most important aspects of successful lobbying. Elected or government officials propose a variety of laws that are not often based on how a construction project works most efficiently. If you do not have someone on your side educating officials, all kinds of codes and regulations may be applied that are just not practical for what you have to do on a construction job.

Educating lawmakers is a never-ending goal, as there are often new officials and legislators taking office. Lobbyists are needed to help the construction industry understand what rules do, but also to make sure the rules actually serve a purpose and are not just an activity to keep regulators at bay.

Having a lobbyist on your team is a way to get through all the noise and find receptive lawmakers who may have been in the construction industry before and/or who know their way around a jobsite. Engaging those individuals can become effective spokespeople for the right cause.


Some small-business owners may think the idea of having a lobbyist interact with a government is out of their scope. However, companies that have success lobbying state and local government tend to fall into three categories: they want something changed, they want something new, or they want access.

Most business owners think they have the expertise, knowledge, and contacts to do it themselves; however, just as you would go to a doctor when you’re sick, you go to a lobbyist for your legislative affairs.

For some small-business owners, the idea of forming an ad hoc group and putting aside any competitive business interest to get something greater for their industry is important. So, too, is having the patience and the willingness to accept something short of their goal and then go back for more.

It is important to understand that the Legislature is an incrementalism institution. It takes time to move an initiative forward. Small-business owners can become stymied by not knowing where to turn or how to distinguish themselves from other businesses doing similar work. This is where a lobbyist can help.

To be successful, small-business owners must be prepared to ask themselves what they are trying to accomplish and then be ready to put in a lot of effort. You need more than one meeting. Businesses have to be an equal marketing partner with any lobbyist they hire.

Ask a series of questions: What are legislators going to be interested in? How are you going to make the case that this makes sense? How does government benefit? Who loses? Are more people going to be paying taxes if this gets done?

Good lobbyists tell you something you don’t know. They tell you what they think you should do about it, how to pay for it and, most important, who opposes it and why. They know their opposition is going to be lobbying you too, so they don’t say anything that can be proved wrong in your next meeting.


TSA has a reputation of being a reliable source of information and building a relationship based on that ability. It is not just about going into a legislator’s office and making a suggestion or claim about somebody else’s legislation. You also have to have the background information to back it up. TSA prides itself in having credibility when we walk in the room and when we walk out of the room.

The work done by TSA to convince lawmakers and agency administrators to cast a vote or make a decision in favor of a client can impact the construction industry as much as—if not more than—anything in the field.

Whether the desire is to seek a license, change a law or policy, defend against a government action, amend an administrative rule or regulation, or navigate government bureaucracy, TSA is here to assist you. The TSA team is experienced in handling matters related to government at every level—local, state, and federal.


TSA has the know-how, relationships, and hardworking reputation to navigate through the inner workings of government and deliver meaningful wins for its clients. TSA devises public affairs strategies designed to have the greatest impact on policy matters and use direct lobbying, coalition building, stakeholder engagement, and policy development, to get the job done.

Winning the most difficult advocacy challenges takes compelling communications strategies designed to influence public opinion and resonate with decision makers. Whether the goal is to win support for a ballot initiative or generate support for a piece of legislation, Texas Star Alliance utilizes highly effectual social and traditional media outreach and coalition building strategies to build consensus, inspire action, and raise message awareness across a multitude of platforms.

The TSA team has a profound understanding of the intricate nature of the government contracts and is well equipped to help clients through the process. TSA creates pathways for its private sector clients to work with governmental entities through pragmatic solutions and strategic guidance.

TSA can truly enhance your efforts and help you build partnerships that last for years.

Is Your Construction Team Complete?


About the author:

John R. Pitts is the founder and managing principal of the Texas Star Alliance. He has nearly 25 years of experience working around the Texas Capitol. Nick James is a principal at Texas Star Alliance. He brings a wealth of experience in Texas state government, having worked for the Senate and Lieutenant Governor for more than 25 years. For more information, visit www.texasstaralliance.com or contact Nick James at nick@texasstaralliance.com.

Modern Contractor Solutions, September2018
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