Our tagline, “Together”, symbolizes our promise to have salient conversations about how to make our community the best it can be. It symbolizes our commitment to the business community to involve all voices in the community when we engage in those conversations.
The Government Affairs team is adhering to that creed and we invite you to participate in conversations with us. At the end of last year, we mentioned that we would delay our first meeting until April of this year so that we could gauge the reception of our Legislative Agenda, participate in preliminary advocacy efforts, and see which areas of policy would require action from the Government Affairs Committee. Since January 1 we have:
- Launched a new iteration of the Government Affairs newsletter;
- Opened a satellite office in Bailey Power Plant to help staff connect with the community;
- Met with each of our local elected officials about items in your Legislative Agenda;
- Acted on individual items at the request of members. This includes collecting comments, drafting letters, and identifying answers to policy questions;
- Participated in legislative meetings in Raleigh;
- Met with Chambers across the region and Chambers in Nashville, TN and Jacksonville, Florida;
- Participated in the National League of Cities;
- Helped to host the NC Department of Transportation;
- Worked with neighboring Chambers to create an Action Plan to address Association Health Plan legislation;
- Created a new blog to showcase regional policy, and
- Created a new policy speaker series entitled “Impact Hour” where speakers can address policy issues important to the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County business community.
Now, as we look to the future, we look forward to resuming our meetings so that we can continue building on previous successes, engaging in conversations, and solving previously identified and new challenges. Below is this year’s meeting schedule and some updates on bills we’re tracking. I look forward to working with you.
Impact Hour Speaker Series
This event was formerly known as Leaders Roundtable. This serial event will serve as an opportunity for local leaders to offer a deep-dive into policy issues with business implications. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of each presentation. The first Impact Hour Event is April 24th at 10:00am with our City and County Managers, Lee Garrity and Dudley Watts. They will discuss the upcoming County and City budgets. Our venue is the Novant Health Community Engagement Building (3330 Healy Drive, Suite 102, 27103). We are opening the event to the public and encourage you to come and ask questions about our region’s budget priorities. Please RSVP here.
Government Affairs Committee Meeting Dates
*All meetings will be held at the Chamber of Commerce at 7:30am
Tanglewood Business Park
We endorsed the Tanglewood Business Park development project due to its potential economic benefits for the region. You can read our full statement here.
Coal Ash Basins
Our Executive Board met to discuss the impact two proposed clean-up alternatives related to the coal ash basin would have on our local economy. Considering the fact that there is no difference in the rate of dissipation of contaminants in the groundwater, we could not support the option that could potentially drive up energy costs for our community. We wanted our state administrator’s to consider the cover option that would help keep energy rates competitive for Winston Salem/Forsyth County businesses and citizens.
Legislative Spring Break
The North Carolina State Congress will be on break from legislative work in the coming weeks. The House will take a spring break from Thursday, April 18th to Wednesday, April 24th. Our Senate will have their break the week of April 22nd.
Calvin McRae, Director of Government Affairs