• November 2019

Public policy process determines advocacy positions

By Debra Owen
Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce

Your Chamber is an effective influencer in the arena of advocacy for all levels of government: city, county, school, state and federal. Our team regularly attends local government meetings, along with having "boots-on-the-ground" in Pierre during the legislative session. At the federal level, the Chamber is a convener of conversations between our members and our congressional delegation. Recent examples include Inside Washington luncheons and the Washington D.C. fly-in. We also keep our members informed about our advocacy efforts through the weekly publication of the Chamber Advocate, which includes our podcast.

...IMC members are thoughtful and committed to their work.

It is privilege to serve as the voice of business on behalf of our members. Our advocacy efforts often place the Chamber at the center of public policy issues and allow us to be a partner in shaping the future of our community.

Our advocacy work is directed by Chamber members. The Issues Management Council (IMC) bears the responsibility of making recommendations to the Board of Directors on a myriad of public policy issues. The Council meets monthly and is tasked with carefully analyzing the impact of public policies on our business community. A recent example is the presentations from experts in the hemp industry as the Chamber seeks to understand all of the implications of possible proposed legislation. The work is challenging, but IMC members are thoughtful and committed to their work.

Each year, IMC reviews and edits the Chamber's policy statements. This document is foundational to our advocacy efforts and guide activities throughout the year. The policy statements represent a set of core beliefs rather than specific actions or initiatives. As such, policy statements tend not to change drastically from year to year. Instead, they are edited for context, outdated sections may be removed, or new sections may be added if necessary. The most recent additions came in 2018, when Agriculture and Health Care were included in the policy statements.

As they stand today, the Chamber's policy statements include the following section titles: Quality of Life; Taxation; Development Incentives; Business Climate; Education; Infrastructure; Environment; Government; Visitor Industry; Accessible Housing; Workforce; Diversity and Inclusivity; Business Development; Agriculture; and Health Care.

This year saw no major changes to the policy statements, and last month the Board of Directors approved recommendations from IMC. Again, our policy statements act as guiding principles for the chamber's advocacy efforts and do not change dramatically from year-to-year.

The complete policy statements can be found on the Chamber's website under the advocacy tab, at siouxfallschamber.com/policy-statements.cfm. I encourage you to review them, as all the Chamber's advocacy work begins with these statements.

Thank you to our Chamber News Premium Sponsors

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