By Craig Whitney
Portrait by J. Alan Paul
Photos courtesy of FMWF Chamber of Commerce
Advocacy is one of the Chamber’s four main areas of focus, and we take our work in public policy and advocacy seriously. We strive to provide strong representation on behalf of our more than 2,100 member firms as local and statewide leaders make important decisions that can greatly affect businesses and employees. From operational regulations to tax policy, we have worked on a wide range of issues.
One of our most important and interesting advocacy events is Chamber Day at the Capitol. Over the past two legislative sessions in North Dakota, we have organized a day trip for our members to attend and participate in the legislative process.
We depart from Fargo and head west to Bismarck. There, attendees have the opportunity to observe committee meetings, where legislative committees will review bills and hear testimony from North Dakota citizens. Chamber members sit in on the afternoon sessions and have the chance to sit with a legislator as bills are brought to the House and Senate floor where they are debated and voted on.
The afternoon is spent hearing from speakers, including majority and minority leadership in both the House and the Senate, the governor, and key Cass County legislators and department heads. The event finishes off with a reception held for event attendees and legislators from across the state.
With the state facing a tighter budget, the conversations at this year’s event will shift as leaders have to take a look at and truly evaluate programs and requests from across the state. We look forward to hearing from these leaders to hopefully catch a glimpse into what their plans are for balancing the budget.
We will be following many issues closely as the session moves forward. Key to those are legislation facing higher education, workforce, dollars for a military-base retainer, tax incentives, and, of course, the FM Diversion.
If you are a legislative veteran or a newcomer with an interest in public policy, I encourage you to join us!
This year’s event will be the third Chamber Day at the Capitol and will be held on Thursday, February 9. We depart from the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at 7:30 a.m. and will return that evening.
It’s an honor for us to host events such as these for our members and community. Having an educated and informed group of people only strengthens our metro, and it will remain a priority to offer educational events to engage businesses and employees. We invite you to get involved!
If you have any questions or would like to register for the event, please contact Elly Peterson at epeterson@ fmwfchamber.com or 218-233-1100.
FMWF Chamber of Commerce
202 1st Ave. N, Moorhead