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Monday, Apr 22, 2024

Delegations Set Legislative Trips

For chambers of commerce, spring is the peak travel season, when business groups large and small head to Sacramento and Washington, D.C., to lobby elected officials. “We talk with them about whatever issues are current for us at that time,” said Tinalyn Firestone, executive director of the Woodland Hills-Tarzana Chamber of Commerce, one of several area chambers heading to Sacramento May 21 as part of the California Business Legislative Summit hosted by the California Chamber. Among the most extensive lobbying efforts currently planned locally is by the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, which is taking 25 members to Washington, D.C., for a three-day trip starting April 14. President Larry Mankin said the chamber has set up 20 to 30 meetings with federal agencies, committee staff and Congressional members. The goal is to solicit funds for roads, water, education and workforce development issues. Mankin said the meetings help connect issues with real-life businesses and residents. “We put a face on a request,” he said. “There are very few chambers that do this. There’s a fear of dealing with Washington.” U.S Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, whose district includes Santa Clarita, agreed that face-to-face meetings with constituents let him better grasp what’s happening at the community level. That’s not always possible, he said. “It’s a good chance for me to sit down and talk about their issues. I’m looking forward to it,” McKeon said. McKeon’s office is also setting up discussions with other elected officials on committees that deal with important issues specific to Santa Clarita, such as transportation. McKeon said such interaction with a variety of congressional representatives helps both sides understand where they stand. “It’s a win-win,” he said.

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