By Cara Coon, Public Affairs Director
In the truest sense of the word, advocacy is defined as influencing a decision within political, economic and social systems or institutions. To be able to influence decisions at the local, state or federal level, we must first gain perspective on an issue, and that comes from engagement and relationships with others in the community.
Historically and currently, we have advocated for a healthy business climate where companies want to locate and grow; a workforce that is primed and ready to work at myriad organizations; grow (and keep!) the business sectors that have already proven successful; and for smart, targeted growth to diversify the region’s economic base. As the Spokane region continues to be a refuge for citizens from larger metropolitans with big-city issues, our advocacy work becomes even more important – to keep our beautiful region healthy, both from a social lens and an employer viewpoint.
One of our core pillars—focusing on advocacy at the local, state and federal level—is Greater Voice. Through Greater Voice, we can amplify the concerns and needs of businesses in our community and present them with a unified voice.
The purpose of Greater Voice is to have a deep understanding of issues that the employer community faces day to day and to continue that work while increasing options for our members to become more involved in the process. Successful advocacy starts with being informed. From creating state and local agendas that are meaningful to our membership to hosting Fly-Ins to Olympia and Washington DC and leading the Public Policy Council, we work across sectors to inform our elected officials how the policies and laws contribute to (or in some cases are detrimental to) business health and growth. It is as important to know what IS working as to know what IS NOT working.
This year we look forward to engaging our members more broadly in this effort: more outreach, additional opportunities to connect with elected officials and deeper communication about what will—or has—happened in both the State Capitol and the U.S. Capitol.
Our next opportunity to present a unified voice for the community is next week at our Olympia Fly-In, where we will be presenting our 2019 State Legislative Priority Agenda with nearly 100 business leaders and partners. In upcoming newsletters we will share a recap of the Fly-In, along with more in-depth articles about our local, state and federal advocacy efforts.
If you have any questions, contact Cara Coon, Public Affairs Director, at 509-321-3636 or firstname.lastname@example.org