Have toothpicks, will travel
Ever climb aboard a ‘luxury coach’ in the middle of the night with 25 of your closest friends?
I did. And the toothpicks holding up my eyelids were worth every cent I paid for them.
Last week, the Chamber hosted its first-ever (or at least in a very long time) road trip to Austin to visit our elected leaders in the Texas House and Senate. If you were one of those who traveled with us, thank you. Your commitment, your presence, your voice and your influence made “Abilene Day at the Texas State Capitol” a homerun. As promised, we were back home in Abilene in time for dinner with our families.
Here is a link to a number of photographs and video that help to illustrate the experience of our time in Austin. I hope you’ll indulge me by taking a couple of minutes to view them.
A question you may be asking is, “I thought the Chamber is our legislative advocate, and they’re just now going to Austin for the first time?”
The simple answer is that we’re in Austin frequently, as staff of the Chamber representing the collective interests of our members. Last week’s trip was the first organized trip we’ve made in at least the three years I’ve been here that was open to our membership. And judging by the reception and the impact of the trip, I’m thinking it may be an effort worth repeating each Legislative Session.
Not only are we physically ‘in’ Austin a lot during the session, we work routinely with our elected officials at all levels of government and their staffs on a regular basis – daily, to be specific – on issues and matters that have the potential to impact your ability to do business. One voice of business. And we take that job seriously.
If you weren’t able to attend, I’d like to know why. Was it the hour of departure? The day of the week? The three and a half hours each way stuck with me on a bus? Would you prefer more time in Austin? An overnighter? Ultimately, I can talk with government until my last breath. But taking you to Austin with me makes a tremendous difference when we’re eyeball-to-eyeball with our lawmakers and those who support them in representing us.
I hope you’ll click this link and send me a confidential email to share your thoughts on the trip – why you chose to go or why you didn’t. Knowing your perspective will help us to make sure we’re using your time and influence to the best of our ability.
Again, if you traveled with us, thank you. If you didn’t, please share with me why you chose not to. My goal is to ensure we build an effort, designed by you, our member, that meets your needs and expectations so that you’ll travel with us next time.
By all accounts, the trip was worth it.
We’re all in this together, and the Chamber is grateful for the privilege of representing the collective interests of business. And inasmuch, we’re appreciative of your ongoing support in all that we undertake that helps us to build a better Abilene for all of us.
#TeamAbilene #AbileneChamber #OneVoiceForBusiness
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