An occasional criticism I hear about our organization is The Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC is too political. Political in the sense of Legislative and Congressional Forums, Breakfast with the Governor, State of our Cities, etc. regardless of party of office holders at any point in time. We also take positions on issues to be influenced or laws to be enacted by lawmakers. So the most direct response I offer to critics is, “Why aren’t you?”
We are just past the municipal primary which produced another dismal voter turnout, yet we grumble about local roads, local services, local schools, local taxes, etc., etc. So why not get involved. The overwhelming majority of elected official’s local, state and federal are good people trying to do the right thing. They enjoy having intelligent conversations with concerned people and trying to learn more about issues. That’s part of being involved.
One way to get involved and to learn more is to meet elected officials through your local Chamber like the Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC. We espouse bold leadership; visionary members and powerful results. It’s like anything else in life. If you don’t speak up, life will pass you by! Sometimes, as individuals and through organizations, we have to be bold. Bold doesn’t mean being obnoxious, it means being straightforward and affirmative, staking out issues, questions and proposed solutions to the people who are elected to solve the issues, questions and find solutions.
For example, given an approximate $2.5 billion deficit facing the Pennsylvania Governor and State Lawmakers (and all of us as well), many ideas have been floated to generate more tax dollars for the Commonwealth. One of those has been to charge local municipalities that do not have their own police departments a nominal per capita fee. Our Chamber has evaluated the proposal and said, “We’re okay with that idea.” But we didn’t stop there, we have said when it comes to funding State Police in general, let’s not fund them from Highway/Transportation Construction/Improvement funds; let’s fund State Police, but find other funding sources as well. Bold position, bold leadership.
We count on government to protect us, to occasionally level the playing field to protect consumers and make business competition fair. Sometimes we feel government oversteps their bounds … occasionally they pass not-so-good laws and sometimes laws become out dated. The buggy whip industry does not need to be heavily regulated today! Lawmakers are not masters of all things; they rely on the business community, on individuals to inform and to advocate. That is part of what makes our democracy great. Lobbying is part of the government process; it is the process of educating and interacting with elected officials. It’s good for the process.
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