Economic Development Week: What does advocacy mean to you?

posted on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 in Economic Development

Written by Cary Darrah, CEO

Advocacy means many things to many people and at Grow Cedar Valley we believe strongly in being the voice for our business community to remove barriers for business growth and insert opportunities to enhance the quality of life in the Cedar Valley.  It is an effort that we keep our eye on at the federal, state and local level.

Having a strong and passionate voice on behalf of the Cedar Valley, and then communicating the impact and outcomes to our stakeholders, is the core of our advocacy effort.  Most businesses don't have the time to commit to interpreting, disseminating and influencing legislative decisions that affect our growth.  Together with our partners we:

  • Present a unified voice
  • Listen to our investor's needs
  • Promote an agenda on issues directly affecting business growth
  • Create awareness and participation in areas that affect future growth

In assembling the advocacy agenda, we provide opportunities for our investors to weigh-in on upcoming legislative issues and collectively provide the voice of how those issues will affect business and community growth.  However being the voice comes along with also being the “ears” to those issues —  it's equally important to listen. Listening is a crucial part of advocacy because we need to understand the intent and the logic to an issue to be better able to influence or advocate for the outcome we support.

Friday Forum – March 2019

For Grow Cedar Valley, advocacy additionally helps us grow our credibility network with other like-minded organizations.  We are members of the Iowa Chamber Alliance, the Iowa Association of Business & Industry, and Professional Developers of Iowa – all groups who have identified Workforce and Talent Development as a priority issue facing our businesses.  These coalitions help all of us access vital connections to the resources for us to grow as a region.

What can you do?

Get involved.  Be informed. Network with other businesses. Attend our legislative and advocacy events.  Reach out and access us with concerns and issues we need to understand on behalf of your business or industry.  Join us to become even stronger as we advocate for opportunities to “Grow Cedar Valley”!

Steve Firman

If you want to learn more about Grow Cedar Valley and the Government Affairs program or get involved, contact Cary Darrah, CEO or Steve Firman, Director of Government Affairs.