Representing Business to Government
The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce accepts the responsibility to represent its members as the 'The Voice of Business.' The Chamber's goal is to ensure the business community is always represented to the region's governments and municipal agencies.
The Chamber's professional staff monitors city, county, state, and federal activities and represents its members on issues and legislation affecting the welfare of businesses, and the quality of life in the region. When there is cause to advocate publicly on an issue, the Chamber's Public Policy representatives meet with decision makers to make sure they take into account the position of the thousands of businesses and employees the Chamber represents.
The Chamber also sponsors 'Inside Oakland,' a periodic gathering for Chamber members intended to connect directly with local officials, and once yearly 'Inside Sacramento,' an opportunity to travel as a group to the state capital to meet with local and state leaders.
Public Policy Agenda
In keeping with the mission of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce to promote commerce and industry, advance economic growth, and to enhance the quality of life in the city and throughout the greater region, the Chamber aims to advocate at all levels of government to ensure decision-makers have a clear picture of what is needed to fulfill this vision. The Chamber believes business wants what all residents want: a great place to live, work, and raise a family.
2019 Public Policy Principles
The mission of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is to secure the economic future of our community and to and enhance the quality of life for all Oaklanders. As the largest and most diverse business organization in Oakland, the Chamber advocates frequently on behalf of its 1,000+ members on an array of public policies at the local, state, and national levels. The Chamber is a place where businesses of all sizes, nonprofits, and public agencies convene to dialogue and take collective action toward the betterment and success of Oakland.
The Public Policy Committee is an advisory committee of the Chamber Board of Directors tasked with vetting, researching, and making recommendations about key public policy issues to the Board for further action. Comprised mainly of government relations professionals from member organizations, the committee also recommends a set of broad policy principles to the board for focus in the coming year. These principles serve as a lens through which the Board and Chamber staff will examine issues in the coming year.
These priorities fall in 6 categories:
•Good Governance and Fiscal Responsibility
•Improve Housing and Commercial Space Affordability
•Workforce Development and Education
•Mobility and Infrastructure
Promote Economic Development To create a thriving and sustainable local economy, the Chamber advocates for policies that promote growth and investment throughout Oakland diverse neighborhoods including those that:
•Attract and market new business and job formation and location in Oakland
•Foster a diverse economic base of all industries, business sizes, and sectors
•Support the creation of new business improvement districts in historically disadvantaged areas
•Improve government efficiency and foster a user-friendly and welcoming city government
•Provide access to capital for entrepreneurs, particularly for women and people of color
Foster Good Governance and Fiscal Responsibility The City of Oakland faces significant long-term pension obligations and budget shortfalls. In order for the City to provide Oaklanders the services they need and deserve, it’s critical that the City keep its fiscal house in order. The Chamber supports policies including those that:
• Expand the tax base and grow the pie for Oakland businesses of all sizes
• Create sound fiscal management practices and controls
• Provide transparent and efficient government processes
• Require thorough analysis and accountability on ballot measures before and after passage
Improve Housing and Commercial Space Affordability The Bay Area is seeing unprecedented growth, but with that comes new challenges to businesses, nonprofits, and residents particularly in the realm of affordability. The Chamber supports policies that:
• Build more housing at all levels of affordability
• Streamline and incentivize new development, particularly around transit
• Increase the supply of office and industrial space
• Encourage new investment in Oakland as a dense, vibrant regional jobs and housing center
Support Workforce Development Education is perhaps one of the greatest economic develop tools at our disposal. Preparing students for college and career serves our youth and fosters future economic growth. The Chamber supports policies including those that:
• Create systems that improve better connect education and industry
• Improve employer engagement and involvement in workforce development programs
• Push for government support for workforce training and retraining programs
Enhance Mobility and Infrastructure Robust and well-maintained infrastructure and transportation options are critical to a successful economy. The Chamber supports policies that promote the efficient and timely movement of both goods and people including those that:
• Expand public transportation options and capacity throughout Oakland and the region
• Encourage density around transit hubs to ease overcrowding
• Support investment infrastructure as well as timely project delivery
• Allow for new mobility options and technologies
Improve Public Safety Oakland has historically grappled with substantial public safety challenges. While significant progress has been made and crime rates are dropping; there is still much work to be done. The Chamber supports policies and programs that:
• Build upon the success of community-based policing models such as Ceasefire
• Increase the number of police officers while improving recruitment and retention
• Support fire prevention and suppression
• Increase community resiliency and disaster preparedness in response to climate change
Questions? Please contact Aly Bonde, Public Policy Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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