The start of a new year brings fresh opportunities for collaboration, discussion, and advocacy, and this sentiment rang true at the 2023 Greater Spokane Inc. (GSI) Legislative Forum and Reception, presented by STCU. Held at the beautiful Historic Davenport, the event brought together key stakeholders, community leaders, and elected officials to engage in meaningful conversations about the Washington state legislative landscape and its impact on the Spokane region.
Highlighting Key Community Issues
A central focus of the forum was discussion of key legislative issues affecting the Spokane region with a brief presentation from Director of Public Policy Jake Mayson which unveiled GSI’s 2024 State Legislative Agenda. The presentation focused on GSI’s four priority action items:
- Business Climate and Taxation
- Clean Buildings Act Implementation
- Meeting our Transportation Obligations
- Enacting the Teacher Mobility Compact
These items represent actionable priorities during the 2024 legislative session that GSI will be actively lobbying in Olympia while the Legislative Agenda outlays all our positions through partnerships and coalition work in the state capital.
Building Bridges and Fostering Dialogue
The Legislative Forum served as a dynamic platform for dialogue between elected representatives on both sides of the aisle during the panel discussion moderated by GSI Lobbyist Jim Hedrick. The panel included key legislative leaders:
- Sen. Andy Billig (Senate Majority Leader)
- Sen. Shelly Short (Republican Floor Leader)
- Rep. Monica Stonier (Majority Floor Leader)
- Rep. Drew Stokesbary (House Minority Leader)
Panelists touched on a wide variety of topics including a series of initiatives to the legislature filed this year, transportation budget woes, the Climate Commitment Act, and affordable workforce housing among others.
Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities
The event provided a platform for addressing the challenges faced by the Spokane business community while also highlighting opportunities for growth and development. Elected officials shared their perspectives on the legislative landscape, outlining strategies to overcome obstacles and capitalize on the unique strengths of our region. This collaborative approach ensures that the Spokane community remains resilient and adaptable in the face of evolving economic conditions.
Celebrating Successes and Acknowledging Partnerships
The reception that followed the forum was a celebratory occasion, recognizing the successes achieved through collaboration between businesses, government, and community organizations. It was an opportunity to express gratitude for the dedication of all those involved in advancing the economic vitality of the Spokane region. Partnerships forged at events like these are instrumental in driving positive change and creating a robust ecosystem for sustained growth.
The 2023 GSI Legislative Forum and Reception was more than an event—it was a convergence of minds, a celebration of partnerships, and a commitment to shaping a positive future for the Spokane region. As we carry the momentum forward, we look ahead with optimism, knowing that the collaborative spirit fostered at this gathering will drive lasting impact and prosperity for our community.
Thank you to our partners and sponsors of this year’s event:
Presented by STCU, Executive Sponsors: DoorDash and Providence, Major Sponsors: Community Colleges of Spokane, DH, and the Kalispel Tribe of Indians, Supporting Sponsors: Eastern Washington University, Gesa Credit Union, UW Dentistry RIDE Program (Regional Initiatives in Dental Education), and Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane.