The Chamber of Commerce is very involved in influencing public policy at the local, state and national level. Due to its active role, the Chamber recently received the 2015 Public Policy of the Year Award, presented by Mid-American Chamber Executives.
As a business association, the Chamber promotes positions that are favorable to business and will develop the local community. Each year the Government Relations Committee recommends a legislative agenda to the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. This agenda is based on the results of surveys and other feedback that the Chamber of Commerce has received from its members. The Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors approves a final legislative agenda, which is the guiding framework for staff and volunteer leadership throughout the year.
During the Iowa legislative session, the Chamber of Commerce hosts monthly "Eggs and Issues" breakfasts. These sessions are a forum for Chamber of Commerce members to speak directly with area representatives at the state level.
Two regional lobbying trips are held — one to Des Moines and one to Washington, D.C. These trips are made with the Chambers of Commerce and Economic Development organizations from Henry, Lee and Louisa Counties. During these events, attendees advocate on policy issues and projects important to Southeast Iowa.
At the local level, Chamber of Commerce staff and volunteers frequently attend city council and Board of Supervisors meetings. There are often issues of importance to the organization and community on which the Chamber of Commerce wants to express an opinion or be there as a resource to answer questions.
The Chamber of Commerce holds forums for school board, city council, supervisor and state office elections every year. These events provide an opportunity for the candidates to express their viewpoints on questions that are written from a business perspective.
Chamber of Commerce members interested in political action are encouraged to get involved by joining the Government Relations Committee.
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