Government Relations Update

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KristiWyattLots of interesting Chamber news you can use…

Federal legislators connect with The Chamber
Lately, The Chamber’s had considerable activity with the Congressional delegation, including;

  • Senator Brownback’s going green. During a Chamber visit recently the Senator (who is likely to be the next Governor of Kansas) asked the Chamber members in the room for leads on companies that would install a wind turbine at his home in Kansas.
  • Congressman Jerry Moran (running for U.S. Senate) meets with The Chamber’s Johnson County Business Leadership Council today to get input from folks in the know about state and national issues. He’ll also be at The Chamber tomorrow morning to meet with general membership.
  • Senator Robert’s staff asked for assistance in helping to bring bi-state support for not moving GITMO detainees to Leavenworth. The Chamber was pleased to oblige.
  • Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins, lately in the national news, meets tomorrow at Bayer to discuss the Animal Health Corridor.
  • Senator Kit Bond, in town this week with other Senate leaders blasting the Democrat’s health care reform plans, will be at The Chamber sometime soon. We’re working with his staff on a date. Bond is retiring from the Senate when his term expires in 2010.
  • Congressman Cleaver brought several Cabinet secretaries and under-secretaries to town this week to tour the Green Impact Zone –a 150 block area between Troost and Prospect; 39th and 51st Streets; where federal and local dollars would be concentrated in an area which really could use a boost. Kudos to KCP&L which announced a plan to invest $24 million in technology in the region.
  • Congressmen Dennis Moore will hold another meeting soon with banking leaders in the area, coordinated by The Chamber, for the purpose of exchanging information between the region’s financial service leaders. Congressman Moore serves on the House Financial Services Committee.

Majority of KCMO City Council Appears to be Running for Reelection
With only 3 members of the current City Council term limited; ten Councilmembers will be seeking reelection in the 2011 election. Quite a contrast from 2007 when only 3 members were not term-limited, leading to a large turnover at City Hall.

Term limits continue to be controversial; but the reality is they are here to stay. Currently, a Councilmember or Mayor may only serve two consecutive terms, but can seek reelection after four years out of office if they choose to do so. Several members have done this – including Councilmen Ed Ford and John Sharp. Fundraising continues to be a priority. Lately, at least three Councilmembers have held successful fundraisers – John Sharp, Cindy Circo and Cathy Jolly. More are being planned.

Kansas City to Denver: 7th Annual Leadership Exchange
111 civic and government leaders will head to Denver in just over a week for the 7th Chamber Leadership Exchange. It will be a great trip. KC has a lot to learn from our neighbors to the west. We’re going to hear from their leaders about their strong approach to regionalism and development of one of the strongest energy sectors in the country. We’re planning to blog from Denver to keep you in the loop about what we learn there.

Who Let the Dogs Out? Notes from the Animal Health Homecoming
No one would ever be able to say that this year’s Animal Health Iron Paw Winner Fintan Molloy, longtime businessman and executive with TEVA Animal Health, lacked any personality and character as he accepted the award at the 2009 Animal Health Homecoming event this Monday. Fintan’s charming Irish accent gave him the opening to make a few colorful jokes that had the audience blushing. In addition, the Corridor prepared a commercial for him to take him into his next career after Teva, “Molloy’s Beer for Dogs.” See it here at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnIS_1ustB4.

The event included the Who’s Who of the Animal Health Industry and proved the Animal Health Corridor is a growing and evolving opportunity for the Kansas City region. There were several major successes this year that were definitely worth celebrating including the decision for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) to locate to Manhattan, KS. Although, there is still a lot of work to be done to assure NBAF’s success (Click here to view the latest BIZTEAM alert and find out how you can help with secure the funding for this important project… http://capwiz.com/kcchamber/issues/alert/?alertid=13976306).  The NBAF decision helps to highlight this region’s ability to prove it will continue to grow both economically and with advanced science.

John Grogan was the keynote speaker of the evening and he gave moving remarks about his life with his crazy dog; which I can certainly relate to, and I’m sure most of the audience has had similar experiences with their own pets. He talked about the joy and sadness a family pet can bring to our lives. In the end it was great and I think everyone left realizing there truly are “Boundless Possibilities” for the Animal Health Corridor in the Kansas City region.

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