Miami Chamber Plans More Lobbying In Washington
By Suzy Valentine
More frequent trips to lobby in Washington are on the agenda for Miami-Dade County’s largest business organization as an 18-person delegation is to return from the latest round today (9/22).
The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce was sending a group to the capital this week as part of a South Florida delegation that was to discuss issues ranging from hurricane compensation to immigration and security.
"We’ve done this a few times," said Rana Brown, chamber vice president of advocacy. "A group visited in October 2004, so we had a fall visit followed by a spring session, but we hope to make it more regular, perhaps every three months. The aim is to keep the dialog open and maintain the lines of communication."
There are some logistical challenges to increasing the frequency of meetings, Ms. Brown said.
"Between our schedule and the congressional schedule, it can be tricky," she said, "but government affairs is to play a huge part of how the chamber operates in the future."
This week’s party – some of whom are chamber members or staff – planned to meet US lawmakers from Florida.
"Top of the list are economic generators," said Ms. Brown, "such as the seaport and airport."
Hot topics include seeking more screeners for Miami International Airport through the Transportation Security Administration and the Miami Intermodal Center Connector that is to link the airport to rail services.
"We hope to advocate on a number of airport and immigration issues," Ms. Brown said. "We’ll also be looking at recent legislation and pressing for more in payments from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the Hurricane Katrina damage here."
"We need to maintain the lines of communication," she said. "We need positive feedback."
Miami-based Terremark Worldwide Inc. sponsored the Sept. 21-22 Washington initiative.