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Advocacy

Advocacy

We believe that chamber engagement in economic development and legislative issues echoes our members' collective voice and demonstrates strong leadership. This in turn positively impacts the health of our local business climate.

Legislative Affairs Council
The Legislative Affairs Council is the main advocate for legislation that has a positive impact on the greater Elkhart business community and will engage with partners to do the same for the region.  The Council will research legislative issues impacting our business community, especially in the areas of economic development, education, environment, OSHA, technology, transportation, workforce, women and young professionals. The Council will develop the Chamber’s legislative positions each year, and oversee and provide opportunities for connections between elected officials, businesses and Chamber members.

GOALS

  • Develop the Chamber’s legislative positions each year.
  • Research local, state and federal legislative issues that impact the Greater Elkhart and regional business community, especially in the areas of economic development, education, environment, OSHA, technology, transportation, workforce, women and young professionals.
  • Build relationships with Elected Officials and monitor government activities.
  • Promote Government efficiency and seek cooperation, collaboration and coordination among government, business, and the community at large.
  • Participate in quarterly meetings with the Mayor of Elkhart.

Chamber members are always encouraged to contact their elected officials directly to discuss issues impacting their businesses. For your convenience, elected officials and web links are listed below. If you are not sure who your elected representatives are, you can find out here.

For Elkhart
Elkhart Mayor’s Office
Elkhart City Council
Elkhart County Commissioners
Elkhart County Council

Indiana General Assembly, officials representing Elkhart County:
United States Congress, officials representing Elkhart County: Tips for contacting your legislator and advocating your issue
  1. Be informed. Do your own thinking and research. Above all, be accurate.
  2. Know the strengths and weaknesses of your issue.
  3. Understand the importance of compromise and building consensus, particularly when it comes to funding. Your issue is not the only good cause needing new, sustained or increased funding.
  4. Understand the law- and policy-making process.
  5. When addressing your state and federal legislators, the proper salutations are “Dear Senator ___” or “Dear Representative ___.” When writing your local elected official, the proper salutations are “Dear Mayor ___” and “Dear Councilor ___.”
  6. Where possible, refer to the bill or ordinance number of the legislation of interest.
  7. Be clear and concise in explaining how the proposed or existing legislation affects your business and why you support or oppose it.
  8. Request that your elected official take specific action by telling him or her the outcome you seek. (“I’d like you to vote in support of HB 1011.”)
  9. Discuss only one issue per call, email or letter.
  10. For all communication, don’t assume the elected official knows you are from his/her district. State that you are a constituent or resident, and always include your mailing address and telephone number.
Tips adapted from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

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