Monday, November 16, 2009

Gwinnett Chamber Public Policy: It’s All about Jobs for 2010

2010 is high-wage jobs. For the coming year, it will be all about getting other successful companies like NCR to locate and expand in Gwinnett to improve the business climate and quality of life for the County and the region. Gwinnett Chamber members and guests will have the chance to get a preview of the legislative session at the Annual Legislative Luncheon
Presented by Rocket IT on December 16 at the Atlanta Marriott-Gwinnett Place at 11:30 a.m.
The luncheon, featuring Georgia House of Representatives Speaker Glenn Richardson, will be the first opportunity for Chamber members to learn about the key issues, which include water, education, transportation and economic development, that the Gwinnett Chamber will address to ensure a healthy business climate.

“The Gwinnett Chamber is constantly working to improve our County and region at the legislative level so that we can bring more companies like NCR to Gwinnett which provide
high-wage jobs,” said Demming Bass, Gwinnett Chamber vice president of communications and public policy. “The pro-business legislation that the Chamber advocates helps all companies to grow and become more successful.”

The Gwinnett Chamber puts together a number of high profile events prior to and during the legislative session in an effort to communicate the business community’s message. Following the December 16th Legislative Luncheon, the Chamber will officially begin the session with the Legislative Kick-off Presented by AT&T on January 7 at 6 p.m. at The 1818 Club. The Kick-off, which is held to educate the legislative delegation on our 2010 priorities, presents a great opportunity to personally thank and spend quality time with the County and region’s senators and representatives.

The Gwinnett Chamber will also once again hold Gwinnett Day at the Capitol Presented by AT&T on February 25. Following a full day of lobbying for issues important to Gwinnett,
the Chamber will wrap up with a reception in the historic “Depot” where the Chamber will host the entire Georgia General Assembly while showcasing the best of Gwinnett.

“The Gwinnett Chamber serves as your voice, advocating on your behalf to our elected officials,” said Bass.

During the legislative session and at each of these events, the Gwinnett Chamber will be advocating for water, transportation, education and economic development, which were identified as key concerns from the Chamber’s 7,200 members as well as from feedback received
from more than 2,500 residents, business, and community leaders during the research phase of
Partnership Gwinnett, the community’s public private initiative, led by the Chamber.

“The Chamber’s efforts to secure a new, dedicated revenue stream for transportation projects ended in a road block in 2009. Looking forward to 2010, we will focus on getting this conversation started again,” said Bass. “Coming back from the Strategic
Leadership Visit in Denver, we learned a lot of important lessons on how a transportation plan can be successfully structured and implemented. We look forward to applying those lessons here.”

The Gwinnett Chamber is actively involved in a number of groups working to ensure the long-term availability of water in the region. Through its involvement with these groups and from what the Gwinnett Chamber is hearing from the business community, it is vital for Gwinnett to secure future water supplies, despite difficult budget challenges and improved drought conditions.

“The Gwinnett Chamber will continue to support the necessary funding for the Comprehensive Statewide Water Management Plan and the raising of the Conservation Pool of Lake Lanier two feet from 1071 to 1073 in order to increase water storage for droughts,” said Bass.

And finally, in order to ensure a qualified workforce for the region, Georgia must continue to make the necessary investments in our educational infrastructure. “With a tough economic climate expected to persist into 2010 no one argues that the State will continue to have to make difficult budget cuts,” said Bass. “However, we will urge legislators not to cut investments in k-12 public schools, our technical colleges and university system at a time when they are growing and needed more than ever.”

Be sure to mark your calendar for these important events. Also, visit the Gwinnett Chamber Government Relations Web site,, for the latest developments. Whether as a sponsor or an attendee to any of these events, you’ll add your voice to our efforts to ensure the public policy decisions our leaders make today will continue to have a positive impact on our community by bringing high-wage jobs to Gwinnett and the region.

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