The Chamber Goes To Washington
by Jill Rowland-Lagan
Through a gracious offer from the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, Goldie Begley, Boulder City Chamber of Commerce Director and Jill Lagan, Boulder City Chamber of Commerce CEO, were among 16 delegates from the Southern Nevada area that traveled to Washington DC the first week of October, 2007. This was a marvelous opportunity that gave Boulder City a face and a voice. Veronica Meter, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Las Vegas Chamber was instrumental in organizing this powerful program. “Thank you for your participation. Your presence was key to the program’s success. Your contributions during the high-level meetings with key bipartisan administration and congressional leaders ensured our business priorities were well represented”, stated Meter in a letter received by Begley and Lagan. Congressman Jon Porter served as an exceptional host for this event and his staff worked very hard to make every minute of the event purposeful.
Although Las Vegas business issues and Boulder City business issues seem to be polar opposites, there were several key discussions with the President’s Cabinet members that did affect both communities. Water, a major concern for all of Nevada, was discussed with multiple speakers. Our concern for the percentage of water allocated to Nevada was high on the priority list for each of the delegates and openly discussed as being key to the survival of our State. Compliments were given to our communities for the amount of conservation that has been implemented in the last ten years, but the delegates pressed for a review of Nevada’s minimal allocation per the current agreements and asked for a “serious review process”.
Land scarcity was very high on the Las Vegas Chamber’s hot button list. This issue was brought to the table by all of the delegates representing the Las Vegas Valley. For obvious reasons, it was not as pressing to the Boulder City representatives, but still important for us to be aware of.
Transportation along the CANAMEX Trade Route, considered to be one of Boulder City’s most important issues in the next 3 to 4 years, seems like it would only be of concern to our local community. However, it was often stated by all attendees that it affects all of Southern Nevada as it will affect the tourism industry. Although safety issues are our number one concern here, it is good to note that we have the back up of a larger hand to help with our agenda.
On this topic, after hearing from US Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters, a question was asked if she was aware of Boulder City’s excessive concern regarding safety for our residents in the Hemenway Valley and to our business owners along Nevada Highway. She stated that she was aware of the issues and would continue to be mindful. She directed a staff member to remain vigilant on this concern and to work with Boulder City on mitigating these issues. She further stated there is a federal safety program that funds alternative corridor studies and safety measures. She committed to assisting us further.
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It has often been stated that political figures give lip service and don’t take action. This may be the case in some regards. However, Boulder City had a real person attached to this major issue standing there before the Secretary. As she plans her next step to take further action, reviews more letters of concern from Boulder City citizens, and sees continued requests to make our streets safer, she will remember Boulder City’s voice. The letters and requests will have a face; a connection has been made.
Look out Washington DC! Boulder City will be heard and wants to ensure a strong economic climate and safe residential community for the sake of our current residents and future generations.
To find out more visit the Chamber's web site at www.bouldercitychamber.com.
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