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Government Affairs Committee plans survey, workshop series

The Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee met recently at WBRE-TV.  Elizabeth Graham, 2015 Board Chair of the Chamber of Commerce, spoke about the mission of the committee and her dedication to supporting the committee’s decisions through the Chamber’s board.

Joseph Boylan, Vice President for Economic Development, then spoke about the future collection of data from the Chamber members about what topics are most important to them, so that the committee knows on which issues they should focus. There was a brief discussion about the highlights and improvements needed to be made in planning the Annual Legislative Breakfast held in October.  Boylan then introduced the concept of the Legislative Roundtable Series to the committee.

As the first order of business, Boylan spoke about the future collection of data from the Chamber members.  The committee discussed the use of a short survey to narrow down the legislative interests of the members.  The survey was discussed in great detail as to length, format, topics to be included, and strategies for distribution.  The committee members agreed on a rating-style survey in which Chamber members would rank each issue by the level of importance the issue was to them.

The Chamber hopes to discover which issues affect its members the most, so the Chamber can make better decisions that will help the most businesses in the area. This survey will be the first step to making the committee a better, more member-focused committee seeking to improve the area in the best ways for business.

Also included in this survey will be a question as to whether Chamber members want legislative updates available to them via the Chamber website.  This is a project into which Boylan believes will benefit the members greatly.  Among the information looking to be included in this section of the website are bill texts and summaries, the record of local legislators’ votes, the position which the PA and the Wilkes-Barre Chambers hold, and the legislative calendars.  These sections are believed to be the most pertinent information for local businesspeople.  The sections voted to be important on the survey will be included on the website in the future.


The Annual Legislative Breakfast will be held in October again in 2015 The Chamber is also currently working on the construction of a Legislative Roundtable Luncheon Series.  This series would involve Congresspersons individually speaking to small groups of businesspeople in the Wilkes-Barre area about topics in which they specialize.  The Chamber is currently compiling a list of committees for each Congressperson and a list of businesses related to the committees of which the Congress people are ranking members.  These Roundtable Luncheons will be this spring 2015.

The Government Affairs Committee is comprised of a group of Chamber members who debate current legislative topics to determine the best course of action for the community. The Committee Chairpersons are Robert Bee, Vice President and General Manager of WBRE, and Carmen Magistro, Senior Relationship Manager, Vice President at M&T Bank.  Membership on the committee is open to managers from Chamber member businesses. For more information contact