Led by Chairman Eddie Northen of UPS, OCBC held up its annual “One Voice, Two Capitols” advocacy trip to Washington D.C. March 14 – 16 with a delegation of twenty business and community leaders. OCBC met with a number of elected and public officials, including Dr. Jim Baumgardner with the Congressional Budget Office, John Porcari, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Congressman Ed Royce, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, lead staffers for Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, and Bill Shuster (R-PA), the ranking Republican member on the Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Material.
“From meetings with Deputy Secretary Porcari of the U.S. Department of Transportation regarding completion of the 241 toll road, to breaking down barriers to jobs creation and duplicative government regulations, your business leaders asserted that government can – in tough economic times – help grow the economy without incurring additional federal debt,” said Lucy Dunn, OCBC President and CEO.
OCBC’s theme for 2011, “Turning Red Tape into Red Carpet” resonated on Capitol Hill as the delegation visited key Congressional leaders and Orange County’s own legislative representatives. During these visits the OCBC team discussed federal reauthorization, the completion of the 241 Toll Road, the challenge of obtaining EPA permits to complete projects, the impact of health care reform on our medical device companies, the consequences of defunding education, and the state’s long-term water needs.
The delegation emphasized the importance of job creation, and that while tackling the deficit is important it should not impede with getting California back to work. This includes cutting needless regulations that will allow businesses in the state to flourish, and give employers the confidence to begin hiring again.
While in the nation’s capital, OCBC met with Dr. Jim Baumgardner with the Congressional Budget Office who gave an overview of the economy and deficit and John Porcari, Deputy Secretary, with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
OCBC representatives reiterated the importance of keeping the federal funding available for our infrastructure projects, workforce development and mass transit projects throughout California that will move its 38 million residents within the state and stimulate job growth.
In fact, Lucy Dunn, OCBC’s President and CEO, was invited to testify at a US Chamber of Commerce meeting on transportation infrastructure to share some of the challenges and success in California. The meeting included lead staff from of the Speaker of the House and Senate Minority Leader’s offices, as well as the American Petroleum Institute.
In addition to formal office visits with leadership and members of the House Transportation & Infrastructure and Energy & Commerce Committees, as well as the Senate Environmental & Public Works Committee, the delegation members had the chance to engage with legislative leaders in more social atmosphere. Congressman Ken Calvert was a special guest at the opening reception. At dinner the delegation was joined by Congressman Ed Royce, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, lead staffers for Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, and Bill Shuster (R-PA), the ranking Republican member on the Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Material.
The delegation was even able to connect with leaders back home as Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsome made a surprise appearance at an afternoon reception, sharing with the group his thoughts on economic development needs for California.
Your participation is vital to the success of OCBC’s aggressive advocacy role and to sustaining a strong voice in the formulation of public policy that affects your business. OCBC invites you to join us in Sacramento for part two of the “Once Voice, Two Capitols” advocacy effort, May 10-11, in partnership with the Association of California Cities – Orange County.