September to bring focus to Chamber’s core

July 20, 2018

Do you know that if you were to find yourself completely unable to participate in any of the events, networking, programs and functions of the Chamber, that the Chamber is still working non-stop for you?

The heart of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce is business advocacy. And as the region’s chief business advocacy organization, the leadership and volunteers of this organization are constantly working to build relationships, develop solutions, provide perspective and drive results on behalf of our membership.

Chaired by Mitch Barnett (Barnett & Hill Real Estate), the Government Affairs Committee, subject to approval by the Chamber’s Board of Directors, develops and publishes a biannual comprehensive legislative agenda. That agenda focuses on issues that tie directly to the Board’s strategy and the Chamber’s mission: developing and promoting the economy and quality of life in the Abilene area.

Furthermore, our Legislative Agenda for all levels of government is based on the following core beliefs:

  • Physical infrastructure, of a high quality and sufficient quantity, is essential to attract, grow and retain jobs. Physical infrastructure includes not only roads, railroads, traffic controls and airports, but also covers broader issues such as water resources, agriculture and planned growth.

  • Social and cultural infrastructure are crucial quality of life components to creating, attracting and retaining talented workers. Social and cultural infrastructure includes education policies and funding, arts and cultural programs, effective assistance for veterans, elderly, and underprivileged citizens, and robust special events availability.

  • Government regulatory restrictions, in general, are a damper on economic activity, and should be minimized at every opportunity. While public health and safety are valid concerns, they must be balanced against tax burdens, permitting, land use restrictions, and other regulatory changes which could adversely impact business and private economic growth.

  • Our U.S. military services are the guardians of the freedoms we all enjoy. Our community should support both the military services and the men and women who serve in them in any way possible, to include state and local partnerships, volunteer support, and reasonable accommodations to the military mission.

  • Tourism provides an irreplaceable boom to both state and local economies. Investment in tourism initiatives, in general, return far greater benefit than the original cost, and should be encouraged at both the state and local levels.

So what happens in September? The Chamber will host its second Legislative Collective, sponsored by Mansefeldt Investment Corporation, JAR Land & Investments, AEP Texas, Atmos Energy and Taylor Electric Cooperative.

The collective will kick-off on Monday, September 10, at Shea and Larry Hall’s Silverado II Ranch. The evening will feature a dove hunt, tour of the ranch, cocktail hour, networking steak dinner, live music and a special guest speaker.

Day two on Tuesday, September 11, at the Abilene Country Club, will focus on direct discussions with our legislators on topics that matter to our members: Healthcare, Education, Workforce, Arts & Tourism, Military Affairs, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Economic Development. The day will close with a luncheon featuring U.S. Congressman Jodey Arrington as keynote speaker.

Let us know which topics are important to you by signing up to sponsor a specific conversation topic. You will then have the opportunity to lead the discussion, with the decision makers.

Confirmed representatives include:

Also joining us will be representatives from the following offices:

Don’t forget – the Chamber is legislative and government affairs on behalf of our business members, and we are continuously working to improve the conditions in which you operate your business, the community you and your associates live in, and the creation of opportunity for all of us.




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