Public Policy

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A key goal of the Chamber is to create and maintain an ecosystem that fosters economic growth and opportunity. The Chamber does this by creating initiatives and forging partnerships focused on advocacy for a stronger business climate. The Chamber represents the interests of the business community on city, county, regional and state levels.

The Chamber Board of Directors makes the final decision on adopting any public policy position. In the event that no position is taken, the Chamber may still distribute educational information to its membership.

Public Policy Initiatives

Putting Children First Infrastructure Investment Initiative (i3)

Announced in October 2016, i3 is a citizen-driven process that will provide a forum for community participation in setting local priorities with the goal of producing a balanced ballot initiative for voters to consider during a future countywide election. The 10-member Steering Committee that will guide the i3 initiative is led by Brian Scarborough and represents a diverse group of stakeholders including the African American Accountability Alliance, the Alachua County Chapter of the NAACP, the Builders Association of North Central Florida, the Alachua Chamber of Commerce and other entities. The first public i3 forum will be held in the first quarter of 2017. For information on upcoming forums, email publicpolicy@gainesvillechamber.com.

Distinguished Speakers Luncheons

The Gainesville Area Chamber’s Distinguished Speaker Luncheons bring prominent leaders to speak to and interact with Chamber members. These distinguished leaders–which have included GRU General Manager Ed Bielarski, City of Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe and Alachua County Commission Chair Ken Cornell–have provided Chamber members perspectives on a variety of issues, including utility rates and City and County efforts to make Gainesville the most citizen-centered city in the world. For information on upcoming luncheons, email vicki@gainesvillechamber.com.

Business Community Coalition

The Business Community Coalition (BCC) is a partnership comprised of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Gainesville Alachua County Association of Realtors and the North Central Florida Builders Association. Together, these partners support and lead actions and initiatives that foster a stronger climate for business and opportunity.

Issues

The Chamber’s advocacy activities have historically focused on key issues, including Energy, Innovation, Small Business Growth, Transportation and Community Priorities. For more information on our activities and achievements, visit the Issues section of this website, or contact Vice President of Public Policy Kamal Latham or Grassroots Engagement Manager Vicki Gervickas.

Public Policy Committee

The Chamber’s Public Policy Committee is comprised of leading members of Greater Gainesville’s business community. The Committee is charged with researching issues, collecting input from membership and then advising the Chamber Board of Directors on specific action items if needed. The Public Policy Committee also educates elected officials and the public of the business community’s concerns. Participation is open to all members in good standing.

Political Action Committee (PAC)

In May 2016, the Chamber’s Board of Directors voted to launch a separate Political Committee (PC) to independently advocate for business-friendly leadership at the local and state level on a non-partisan basis for the benefit of the greater Gainesville region, and in keeping with the Chamber’s public policy agenda. The political committee is a voluntary, incorporated, non-profit organization that operates separately from the Chamber and receives no funding from Chamber membership dues. For more information, contact the PC’s executive director, Kamal I. Latham at grbizpc@gmail.com.

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