A Legislative Priority booklet is a useful tool that chambers of commerce and other community organizations use to clearly identify their board-approved positions on various issues of importance and provide a point of reference for elected officials and administrators during policy discussions. Putnam County’s business community has never established one, and so your countywide Chamber is going to initiate an effort to develop such a work to advocate on behalf of those who work here.
This sort of effort is done elsewhere in the lower Hudson Valley to great effect. For example, the Business Council of Westchester’s 2014 guide, still available on their website, contains 24 pages devoted to sharing information about the business community, how to contact elected officials, a listing of priorities that the organization is working on at local, state and federal levels, and a barometer of how things are going. By putting this data all in one place, the Business Council makes it easy for its members to understand the issues and for political leaders to reference. Such a guide, now common among larger chambers of commerce, is worth emulating in creating a Putnam-specific booklet, especially since some of the issues are valid across county borders.
A key resource in setting the legislative agenda for Putnam County is the annual Elected Officials Forum that has been bringing the business community and government leaders together to discuss important issues since 2011. Last March, several infrastructure projects were discussed as well as legislative concerns in a friendly, cooperative setting. This year’s meeting will take place on Sunday, March 15, 2015 from 1:00 to 3:00PM at Spain Cornerstone Park in Carmel. The exchange of ideas at this public forum will contribute to the growing cooperation in good government, and help the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce develop its legislative agenda aimed at building a better future for all.
– Jennifer Maher, Chairwoman, the Putnam County Chambers of Commerce