Chamber Sets Its Priorities For Regional Advocacy In 2019

By: Editorial Staff Posted: 02/28/2019

Policy agenda focuses on advancing economic prosperity, ensuring a vital business environment, and building healthy communities

Seattle Downtown_wide

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is the region’s largest independent business and employer association. In 2019, the Chamber will advocate for the following local policy improvements to advance economic prosperity, ensure a vital business environment, and build sustainable and healthy communities in our region.

For more information, please contact Dominick Martin, our vice president of external relations.

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Our diverse and thriving business community creates and sustains jobs, opportunities, and revenue for our community. Policymakers must encourage economic innovation and preserve a business-friendly environment to allow the region’s prosperity to grow.

  • Keep the cost of doing business affordable for all sectors to maintain a diversity of industries and employers.
  • Maintain predictable and transparent tax systems and business regulations to ensure the Seattle region is competitive.
  • Support the Associate Development Organization (ADO) for King County to retain and grow existing businesses in our community.
  • Ensure that new revenues, policies, and programs are based in evidence, and work collaboratively with the business community on their design and implementation to ensure they do not jeopardize our region’s economic success.
  • Strengthen and cultivate relationships between businesses of all sizes and local government, including inviting meaningful participation from Seattle’s Small Business Advisory Council.
  • Establish a reliable point of contact for businesses to get in touch with local government and ensure businesses have opportunities to meaningfully communicate about issues that impact them.

We must encourage the creation of more housing so people across the income spectrum can afford to live and work in our region. Business and the public sector each have significant, complementary roles to play.

  • Update zoning policies, land use regulations, and development standards to increase the construction of affordable and workforce housing, including honoring Seattle’s “Grand Bargain” by passing Mandatory Housing Affordability and implementing MHA and remaining Housing Affordability and Livability (HALA) recommendations in good faith.
  • Reduce or waive existing impact fees in the region and prevent the creation of new impact fees in Seattle. Impact fees disincentivize development and make housing more expensive.
  • Prioritize development projects that substantially increase quality housing units when allocating public funding, such as the Housing Levy.

We need to increase access to public transportation, improve infrastructure, and encourage innovative options to meet our region’s growing mobility needs.

  • Support policies that promote safe, reliable options for employees to get to work and allow for the efficient transportation of goods and services.
  • Increase public transit service—capacity, operating hours, and business areas served—to meet employment needs and provide a positive experience for the user.
  • Ensure elected officials and transportation agency leadership engage the business community through convenings and meetings to ensure transportation projects meet the needs of our region.
  • Ensure major transit investments and projects, including Move Seattle, Sound Transit 2 and 3, are well-planned and operated effectively.
  • Support strategies to improve the safety and reliability of regional freight transport while reducing its environmental impact.

We need prompt implementation of thoughtful, regional solutions with clear leadership and accountability to ensure that homelessness is rare, brief, and one-time.

  • Quickly create a unified, regional entity to oversee homelessness services in Seattle and King County that coordinates spending and ensures programs are complementary.
  • Support and implement Future Laboratories’ recommendations for addressing homelessness, including redesigning intake processes to be connected, customer-centric and accessible.
  • Implement strong accountability measures using data and metrics to ensure people are moved into permanent housing as quickly as possible.
  • Support the Housing Connector, which supports business-led solutions to increase affordable housing capacity by encouraging property owners and managers to rent to individuals and families facing housing insecurity.

A diverse, well-trained regional workforce is one of the keys to our economic success and long-term competitiveness. We need policies that support people who are working today as well as our future workforce.

  • Ensure labor policies benefit both employers and employees, are simple to implement, harmonize across jurisdictions and seamlessly integrate with existing definitions and laws.
  • Preserve diverse employment options, including independent contracting opportunities.
  • Pursue solutions that provide working families access to affordable, high-quality child care.
  • Collaborate with employers to enhance learning opportunities aligned with the skills employers are looking for, including working closely with employers on Seattle Promise implementation.

Every resident, employee, and visitor in our region deserves to be safe. Neighborhoods that are safe, clean and attractive support thriving communities where people want to live, work and visit.

  • Collaborate with neighborhoods and service providers on community policing strategies to ensure the needs and issues of individual neighborhoods and communities are understood and addressed.
  • Expand services and partnerships that provide consistent resources and outreach to residents and visitors.
  • Invest in efforts to pick up waste, remove graffiti, and keep streetscapes clean and safe.

Local government must be accountable, consistent, and collaborative.

  • Establish outcomes and performance measures that ensure tax dollars are used wisely and effectively.
  • Ensure any funds from local levies are used for promised services and programs and do not supplant general fund appropriations.