On Thursday our groups headed in different directions – some to the Pentagon and some to Capitol Hill – all in support of our unified agenda. In every session we heard just how much our collaborative, regional approach to the process was appreciated. Coming together as a region, we were assured, goes a long way toward furthering our efforts because a targeted intention makes it easier for our leaders to know what matters; what’s important to our business climate; and what will make a positive impact on our entire community.
Members of our Military Affairs group headed to the Pentagon for conversations with top-ranking Air Force officials. One of GSI’s top priorities for years has been the protection of Fairchild Air Force Base, and our presence in DC serves to keep our community’s largest single-site employer top-of-mind. Thursday’s sessions focused on military construction projects, many of which require the work of local construction firms. Another long-term priority for GSI remains working with community leaders to remove encroachment threats that could put FAFB on the Base Realignment and Closure list (BRAC) in the future. When we return home this work will, of course, continue.
Our time in DC was a good reminder of just how connected all of our work truly is … Advocating for policies that fortify the greater-Spokane business climate covers so many issues. Sessions that were planned specifically to cover transportation issues evolved into intentional conversations that touched on everything from water quality to immigration reform.
Discussions between our delegation and congressional leaders were overall positive, and virtually every issue we presented to our representatives was met with agreement and encouragement. During our session with Senator Cantwell, she summed up the prevailing attitude of just about everyone we’ve spoken with during our time here: Let’s just put these issues up for a vote, see what happens, and get to work.
As we head home today it is important to remember that our work is not complete. We encourage you, as our representatives have encouraged us, to become a part of a conversation that matters. Our public policy work is ongoing and we need to know what matters to you. Always feel free to contact our staff to let us know what is important to you, and to ask how you can get involved!