A few years ago, my local minor-league baseball team had a contest to rename the team. I suggested naming them after Atlanta’s most conspicuous feature: The Atlanta Gridlock. The logo could be a bunch of cars trying to merge into one lane, or perhaps an “A” made up of traffic cones.

(For the record, the team went with the Gwinnett Stripers, which is a much better suggestion.)

There is another type of gridlock that’s all-too familiar to anyone: the kind in Washington D.C. That’s where politicians make grand promises over what they would like to do, but then nothing actually gets done. It’s not specific to either party, but there have been plenty of cases where seemingly innocuous bills only get half the votes they should, because one party doesn’t want to give the other a win. Even an obvious need like infrastructure becomes a hassle that takes months to resolve, or a bill gets lost in Subcommittee Purgatory and never sees the light of day.

There have been several bills introduced this year that would be a big benefit to the small meat processor community. H.R. 1258 aka the “Strengthening Local Processing Act,” was introduced in the House on February 23. It and the Senate version, S.370, have both been referred to committees, but no further actions have been taken. Given the fact that there are small meat processors in every state, both blue and red, this should be a bill that appeals to Republicans and Democrats alike. However, there is a chance that it could fall into purgatory.

Keep in contact with your Representatives and Senators, particularly those who are involved in ag committees. Check on their progress regularly, as you should do with any bill you believe in. Tell them about your business, the employees you have, and how the bills can be a boost to your business. If your congresspeople understand the importance, they will keep on it.

Washington may be designed for gridlock, but the will of the people can still make things happen.

Sam Gazdziak