Lobbying for business; A day with the Detroit Regional Chamber's government relations team.

Author:Poole, Steve
Position:VOTE4BIZ
 
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Wouldn't it be nice to have your own personal lobbyist? Well, you do. In fact, you have a whole team.

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The Detroit Regional Chamber's government relations team eats, sleeps and breathes business, advocating for a pro-business agenda in local, state and federal government. Through the Chamber's Political Action Committee (PAC), lobbying and the Chamber's programming, the government relations team educates members and tackles the issues affecting businesses in Southeast Michigan.

Comprised of Sarah Hubbard, Claudia Berry, Melissa Trustman, Brad Williams, Rebecca Schneider and Brain Kandler, the six-person team works hard on advocacy efforts and providing a plethora of ways for Chamber members to get involved and voice their opinions.

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"People often have the misconception that their legislators won't listen to what they have to say," says Sarah Hubbard, vice president of government relations. "It's simply not true. We represent nearly 23,000 members and can help them be heard. Legislators want to know the opinion of the business community on issues before them."

What does the team do on the federal level?

When not working with her team in Lansing, Hubbard spends time in Washington DC working on federal policy.

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On average, Hubbard travels to Washington monthly to meet with government relations professionals representing Michigan firms, members of the Michigan Congressional Delegation and their staff to discuss federal policies affecting Michigan businesses. Many Michigan-based companies and universities maintain full-time Washington offices that advocate on their behalf. Leveraging the Chamber's broader membership behind large job-providers' critical federal concerns helps create more jobs here in Michigan.

Primarily, Sarah's work in Washington has related to border crossing issues between the U.S. and Canada. The Chamber's relationship with the Embassy of Canada and businesses, local units of governments and other chambers of commerce from across our northern border--in both the U.S. and Canada--helped create a national coalition that works exclusively in support of border crossing issues. Regulations that secure our country must also balance the needs of our economy and the business community. We work to find solutions that both increase security and enhance the free flow of trade and people across the northern border.

Another important group Hubbard works with is the U.S...

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