Washington D.C. Fly-In 2023
The Ames Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Program focuses on educating and engaging members on key legislative issues and initiatives impacting the Ames MSA. Maintaining strong relationships with federal, state, and locally elected officials is a key tenet of the Ames Chamber of Commerce, and a service we are proud to provide to our entire membership.
This component of our services is most prevalent during the spring when the state legislature is in session, but the efforts continue year-round at the state and federal levels. In all advocacy efforts, the Ames Chamber of Commerce remains nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates or support political action committees but provides opportunities for candidates and constituents to connect and share information.
In the fall of 2022, we facilitated a “Meet the Candidate” video series where local and state candidates running for office were invited to answer questions. This included county supervisors in Boone and Story County, as well as state representative candidates.
January 2023, with the start of the Iowa Legislative session, the Ames Chamber of Commerce hosted local policy events including two Legislative Updates. All state elected officials representing Boone and Story County were invited to attend the events to answer questions on the legislative topics for the 2023 session and provide their policy perspectives.
As the state legislative session progresses, bills often change, and it can be difficult to stay up to date on current bills. In March, Dustin Miller and Brad Epperly from Nyemaster Goode Law Firm outlined the current status of legislation and provided insights on how likely they were to make it through the legislative funnel or be passed into law.
Finally, in April 2023, the Ames Chamber of Commerce organized the annual Washington D.C. Fly-In where a delegation of business and community leaders from across the Ames MSA traveled to our nation’s capital to meet with elected officials, government department officials, and nonpartisan foreign policy experts. During the three-day visit, our team was able to meet directly with our elected officials including Congressman Randy Feenstra, Senator Joni Ernst and Senator Charles Grassley. A packet of policy considerations was presented, and the delegation was able to talk candidly with policymakers about upcoming legislation directly. Also, continuing the Ames Chamber efforts to gain a more national policy perspective, Representative Lori Chavez-DeRemer from Oregon joined us for a discussion on policy efforts in her committees relating to Agriculture, Transportation/Infrastructure, and Education/Workforce.
Each representative graciously spent time with our delegation, answering questions and listening to the key priorities that impact Iowa and the Ames MSA. Additional topics related to our region included how supply chain is impacting manufacturing, the importance of supporting family farming, the mining of precious metals here in the US for new green technology and international trade. The pace within the Capitol building is robust, yet many of our federally elected officials prioritized time to meet with our delegation from Boone and Story County between committee meetings and votes.
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