The Peoria Chamber of Commerce has established a Government Affairs Committee to study and analyze issues of interest to the Peoria Area, Maricopa County and its business community; to take advocacy positions on those issues; and to communicate the Chamber’s viewpoint clearly to our membership, elected officials, and the community at large.
The Committee achieves this through:
Promoting member awareness and involvement in local and state issues that affect the business community by serving as an information resource to our members through seminars, newsletters, issue alerts and other communication vehicles.
Developing policy positions for the Chamber of Commerce board of directors and then advocating the concerns of the business community to the various public bodies and organizations.
Pursuing issues that are reflective of the interests of our members as determined through member surveys, outreach and feedback.
Collaboration with local, state and the U.S. chambers and other interested parties.
Authority of the Government Affairs Committee
The Chamber Board of Directors establishes the Government Affairs Committee (GAC) in accordance with the Chamber by-laws. The GAC is fully empowered by the Board to determine Chamber positions on issues and to take action on them once ratified by the Board of Directors.
Structure of the GAC Committee
The Chairman of the GAC will be appointed by the Chairman of the Chamber Board, and will serve a term identical to the current Chamber Board Chairman. The GAC Chairman will appoint members with approval of the Chairman of the Chamber Board. The GAC Chairman will determine meeting frequency. Members must comply with a 75% attendance requirement. The committee will be structured around specific issues with each member acting as a Volunteer Issue Manager.
Program of Work
The GAC Committee will create an annual Program of Work that is issue-driven and which utilizes input from members, local and state chambers, and other resources. The Board of Directors approves the Program of Work.
The GAC will utilize well-defined criteria when selecting issues as part of the Program of Work. The criteria include:
The issue directly affects the economic climate for business.
The issue is of concern across the entire business community (not industry specific or of a special-interest group).
The Chamber and the business community have the opportunity to have significant impact on the issue and/or its resolution.
The GAC will create and maintain policy/position statements that are broad, show the Chamber’s position of support or opposition on issues, and that allow the Chamber to react quickly as the issue changes. These statements are not specific to a single piece of legislation but are positional and reinforce the Chamber Belief Statements.
Political Candidate Campaigns, Endorsement/Advertising/Sponsorship
It is the policy of the Peoria Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber Government Affairs Committee to not endorse political candidates or to offer event sponsorship opportunities for promoting a political candidate. The Chamber will accept paid political candidate advertising restricted to 8 1/2 x 11” inserts in the Chamber Newsletter at the established rate and that include the following in not less than 10 point font: “The Peoria Chamber of Commerce does not endorse candidates. This is a paid political advertisement paid for by (Insert name of committee paying for the ad) and does not constitute an implied Chamber endorsement.”
A Chamber-created Political Action Committee is not prohibited and would be the entity through which candidate endorsement and financial support activity would take place.
Government Affairs Committee Policy Statements
The following are the Policy Statements of the Peoria Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors as authorized by the Government Affairs Committee. These Policies are deemed to be of utmost importance to the local business community and to the economic health of the Maricopa County region. Although the Government Affairs Committee attempted to place a value for the order of these statements, all are important in their own right, and it did not necessarily exclude others, which the Chamber may state at a later time.
Growth Management, Planning and Zoning
Recognizing that growth management and land use planning and zoning, when used together, are one of the key tools to achieving a strong community with a pleasant quality of life, the Peoria Chamber of Commerce believes that planning should result in a long term plan which reasonably considers both the needs of the community and the resources available, and that zoning considerations reflect the plan. The Chamber encourages all adjacent units of government to create a collaborative, long term regional land use plan that identifies targeted areas for residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial growth.
The Chamber urges that a long range plan would then drive regional zoning and the development of collaborative municipal services to support the plan.
The Chamber recommends that zoning ordinances be understood and fairly administered by the governing body .The Chamber believes the excessive granting of variances tends to erode the value of zoning ordinances, and recommend they be used sparingly.
Growth Management, Planning and Zoning Policy Committee Approved September 2013
Job Growth and Business Recruitment
Recognizing that a healthy business economy will serve to encourage a pleasant quality of life and a strong community, the Peoria Chamber of Commerce believes full employment, paying family supportive wage rates, is one of the most obvious ways to improve the quality of life of our citizens.
The Chamber supports legislation that encourages diverse business and industrial base to locate in Arizona. The Chamber encourages legislation that controls excessive and burdensome taxes and provide incentives for business recruitment, retention and expansion in our state and community. The Peoria Chamber opposes state and federal legislation that would deny employees the right to a secret ballot before union representation is imposed upon them.
The Chamber encourages the units of government to be aggressive in using local incentives that have been provided through state and federal legislation. The Chamber supports and encourages efforts to attract new business and economic growth to Peoria and the surrounding area.
Job Growth and Business Recruitment Policy Committee Approved September 2013
The Peoria Chamber of Commerce supports legislation that promotes improved energy independence for the United States with the goals of preserving our security and improving our economy by keeping the production, jobs and money in this country.
The Chamber encourages efforts that promote conservation and efficiency and reliability.
The Chamber encourages development of viable, domestic energy (nuclear, coal, natural gas), and alternative energy sources that can fill part of the demand (wind, solar, hydro, wood, bio fuels, methane and others).
The Peoria Chamber of Commerce supports relaxed restrictions on domestic exploration and refining of oil. We live in a global economy. We are imposing on the “protected environments” around the world to harvest energy. The choice is that we can do it at home the best we can, or can pay someone else to do it somewhere else. Energy Policy Committee Approved September 2013
While Arizona has been at the forefront of dealing with immigration on a state level, the level of interest in similar legislation throughout the country points to the frustration with the current system. The Peoria Chamber is concerned that these challenges cannot be sufficiently overcome state by state; a comprehensive federal policy must be developed to properly seal our porous borders, respond to the needs of the economy, and deal with those illegal immigrants already here.
The Chamber supports comprehensive immigration policy reform that requires the federal government to:
Strengthen border security. From guarding the physical border to better tracking of expired visas.
Create a secure system for employers to verify the legal work eligibility of employees. Employers need a user-friendly, low cost, non-discriminatory method to ensure they are complying with the law.
Develop criteria and establishes a form of legal status for illegal immigrants already in the US with no other criminal record, including payment of penalties. Productive, integrated members of our society should be given an opportunity to continue to add to our economy.
Establish a market-based immigration process to support a wide range of workforce needs. Recognize that our varied economy relies on qualified workers with necessary skills.
Reimburse states for the costs of incarcerating, educating and providing health care for individuals in the country illegally. Take responsibility for the breakdowns in federal immigration policy. Immigration Policy Committee Approved September 2013
Peoria Chamber of Commerce supports programs, processes, activities and facilities that promote a strong local education system which, together with business and community, prepares students for a productive role in the world.
The Chamber supports creative solutions to improving operational efficiency.
The Chamber supports cost effective improvements and modernization of our school buildings, technology infrastructure, and grounds.
The Chamber supports legislation and programs that provide career awareness, exploration, and experiences for all students through mechanisms and activities that involve business, schools and community in partnerships that set direction and build support.
The Chamber supports the availability of locally focused, post-secondary education and training for area residents and customized education services to businesses. Education Policy Committee Approved October 2013
The Peoria Chamber of Commerce, recognizing that local, cost-effective healthcare provided by area businesses to families are an essential element of successful business growth and a healthy community. The Peoria Chamber of Commerce supports an environment in which healthcare remains affordable to employers and where our local independent providers may thrive.
The Chamber supports legislation which ensures that employers remain in control of the choice of health insurance benefits they offer to employees. Oppose unnecessary state regulations, cost shifting, coverage requirements and government mandates. The Chamber encourages state government to allocate proper funding for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCS).
The Chamber supports the independence of our local healthcare facilities in that locally managed and directed facilities provide services specifically tailored to the community’s needs. The Chamber also encourages the attraction of more healthcare professionals by supporting the state’s attempt to curb medical malpractice lawsuit abuse and costs of litigation. Support efforts to train and recruit physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in both rural and urban areas of the state.
Healthcare Committee Approved November 2013
Recognizing the economic well-being of the Maricopa County business community is highly dependent upon the ability to efficiently transport products and people to, from, and within the region, the Peoria Chamber of Commerce promotes programs which improve transportation opportunities and facilities.
The Chamber encourages the development of passing lanes, capacity improvements, site corrections and intersection improvements to the state highways within the county, such that we efficiently connect all industrial and commercial areas to the interstate highway system and to the businesses served by those interstates.
The Chamber encourages the continued development of the federal interstate system including the proposed I-11 corridor.
The Chamber encourages efforts to upgrade county and local streets/roads servicing industrial areas in the best interest of those businesses served. The Chamber encourages the development of service drives and traffic calming to reduce traffic congestion in high traffic areas.
Where viable and feasible the Chamber encourages public transportation development and implementation in the West Valley. Transportation Committee Approved October 2013
Communications and Technology Infrastructure
Recognizing that communication technology and the exchange of information is vital to economic development. The Chamber supports community and private-sector efforts to build and deliver state of the art information technologies and infrastructure throughout the county.
Communications & Technology Infrastructure Committee Approved October 2013
Luke Air Force Base
The Peoria Chamber of Commerce supports a close, active and robust relationship with Luke Air Force Base. Our community has reaped both economic benefits and valuable new neighbors and families from this military installation. The Chamber continues to encourage and promote a vibrant synergy formed by the city and air base through our patriotic duties, our exchange of business services and our charitable functions for military personnel both active and retired. The Chamber is encouraged to continue to work as a liaison for Luke Air Force Base to Peoria’s City Government and business community. The Chamber strongly encourages continued collaboration with Luke Air Force Base to help foster it as a premiere air training facility to the area and our nation.
Luke Air Force Base Committee Approved November 2013
The Peoria Chamber recognizes that a consistent and ample supply of clean water is essential to the business, industrial and residential development of this area. The Chamber supports programs of governmental collaboration, in the search of additional sources of water and planning for modifications to the distribution systems, to meet current and future needs.
The Chamber encourages efforts for water conservation.
The Chamber urges the local units of government, both users and suppliers of our local water systems, to coordinate their efforts such that duplication of facilities is avoided, service is provided to the region at reasonable cost, and future physical plant needs are funded.
Water Availability Committee Approved December 2013
The Peoria Chamber of Commerce is the liaison between city and state government lawmakers and the Peoria Chamber general membership. The role of the committee is to inform our general membership of legislative actions which can affect their business.
The Chamber of Commerce serves as a beacon for resources, an advocate for non-profit organizations and a provider of active community networks as they relate to business and business practices. The Chamber also supports the Peoria city government as it continues to make the city the vibrant, safe working community that it is. The Chamber recognizes and encourages the municipal expertise borne out of years of local experience that leads our community into the future.
The Peoria Chamber supports action to include but is not limited to encouraging our own membership to participate in a grass roots advocacy informing lawmakers of support or concern of certain legislation. The Chamber also supports our city aligning with other municipalities threatened similarly, lobbying and/or pursuing other acceptable means of relief. Government Affairs Committee Approved December 2013
The Chamber encourages our members to be involved in the political process in an informed and civil manner.
The Chamber does not endorse political candidates or parties, nor does it offer sponsorship opportunities for promoting a particular political candidate. A political action committee would be needed to endorse and fund political support activity.
The Chamber opposes using recall for effecting political change. We also believe recalls are generally divisive, disruptive and expensive for any community, and are an indicator of an unstable, non-collaborative and unfriendly environment for economic development as well as for taking the risk to become a public official.
Elections Committee Approved December 2013
The Chamber recognizes the need for cooperation between units of government to promote economic growth and the improvement of the quality of life for the community. We believe that collaboration and improved relations between Maricopa County units of government are essential to bring about positive change.
The Chamber urges adjacent units of government to engage in collaborative planning, economic development, and the creation of shared municipal services and contracts.
Intergovernmental Agreements Committee Approved December 2013
Recognizing the current and historic economic importance of agriculture in Arizona, and understanding that laws and regulations relating to agriculture usually affect all business, the Peoria Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to being watchful of government rules, regulations and interactions, as it relates to agricultural issues, and the Chamber will be a voice for all business in this area, as necessary.
Agricultural Advancement Committee Approved December 2013
The Chamber recognizes the rich and vibrant history of the City of Peoria and encourages the preservation and protection of historically relevant sites.
The Chamber appreciates and supports efforts of the Peoria Historical Society and other entities to identify and preserve these historic sites within our community and the region.
Historical Preservation Committee Approved November 2013