Last month marked the beginning of the Chamber's fiscal new year. As the leading Sioux Falls area business advocate, we represent our members by advancing and promoting the economic health and quality of life for the region. Our advocacy efforts over the last 12 months were directed by our Board of Directors, with guidance and recommendations from our Issues Management Council.
I'd like to share a few highlights from the past year, as our public policy team continues to work to be the "Voice of Business" for the greater Sioux Falls business community:
...our team continues to work to be the "Voice of Business" for greater Sioux Falls
• Organized a Washington D.C. Fly-In with Rapid City, which included visits to Capitol Hill and the Pentagon and conversations with key dignitaries such as Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations John W. Henderson.
• Held three Inside Washington luncheons with a member of our Congressional delegation featured at each event.
• Held seven local and state candidate forums, which included mayoral, city council, gubernatorial and congressional candidates.
• Monitored 170 bills and actively lobbied on 40 bills during the 93rd Legislative Session.
• Held six state legislative events, including legislative coffees, Sioux Falls Day at the Legislature, pre-legislative reception and the Good Morning Sioux Falls breakfast.
• Attended more than 140 local government meetings of the Sioux Falls City Council, Minnehaha County Commission, and the Sioux Falls School Board.
• Provided research and analysis and produced written explanations of each of the proposed measures on South Dakota's November ballot, which can be found on our website under the advocacy tab.
• Published 51 Chamber Advocate weekly newsletters, which included the new Advocate podcast – a convenient and time-efficient way to communicate 9our advocacy efforts. These can also be found on our website, under the advocacy tab.
Our public policy team, which includes myself, Justin Bentaas and Teresa Schreier, is excited about the year ahead. Through member-led efforts, we will continue to proactively identify issues that impact the Sioux Falls area business community and propose solutions that preserve and enhance our strong business climate. We're ready – let's go Sioux Falls!