Anthem Business Leaders Visit State Capitol
By Heather Maxwell
Local leaders participate in advocacy program
Business leaders in the Anthem area have come together for 2019 to learn how they can advocate for local businesses and residents in their communities.
The Anthem Area Leadership Academy is a program recently launched by the Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce to empower aspiring leaders with the tools, experiences and networks necessary to address local and regional challenges and make a sustainable impact on social, community and economic development.
The inaugural class came together for a third time this year to meet with elected officials and their representatives to learn about the roles and responsibility of each agency.
Participants visited the state capitol buildings in Downtown Phoenix where they met State Senate President Sen. Karen Fann of Legislative District 1 and State Rep. Noel Campbell of Legislative District 1 to discuss issues North Valley business owners and residents face.
Participants also toured the original capitol building and sat in on legislative sessions for the Senate and House.
AALA participants are interested in finding ways to promote Anthem to better serve the business community and residents. Participants in AALA are a diverse group of business owners, solopreneurs and employees of local businesses. During the 10-month program, participants — all members of the Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce — hope to develop skills and knowledge in policy areas relevant to economic and community development; visit local businesses, nonprofits and neighboring communities to learn strategies that are helping grow local economies in diverse cities and towns throughout the state; and connect with community leaders, practitioners and experts to develop a strong network for collaboration, information sharing, and continued learning.
Discussions were productive and included an array of topics including the future of teacher pay, highway safety along the I-17 North between Anthem Way and Black Canyon City, access to public transportation for the North Valley, local water issues, the business of running the state and understanding how policy takes shape.
Campbell mentioned “we want to encourage business, especially in Anthem” when discussing policy formation. Later, AALA participants were given a tour of the Senate building by Fann and were introduced to the request to speak (RTS) system where each AALA participant signed up to stay proactive in the AALA mission. The RTS system is an online public portal for Arizona residents to view upcoming legislation and submit live feedback without the need to attend a public hearing. Visit https://apps.azleg.gov/Account/SignOn to learn more and sign up.
Fann and Campbell were very welcoming and extremely generous with their time.
The Anthem Area Chamber of Commerce serves the interests of the North Valley business community along the I-17 corridor, from Highway 303 to Black Canyon City, which is experiencing tremendous growth and development.
A variety of opportunities and challenges face the area and AALA participants are working to learn the factors and influences for understanding these developments. Participants hope to implement their knowledge and skill sets to seize opportunities and tackle challenges through collaboration with local government and state officials.
For more information, contact Program Director Sawana Grimmett 480-370-6349 or Anthem Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Heather Maxwell 623-322-9127.
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