Monday, August 11, 2008

Rep. Norm Dicks visits the Chamber

The Chamber’s Simpson Room was the site of a lively interview between Rep. Norm Dicks and Mike Weinman, the Chamber's contracted community relations director, as cameras captured the footage for the Chamber’s Annual Meeting video.

Mike Weinman took Rep. Dicks down memory lane as he recalled how the idea for the Chamber’s Washington-to-Washington, D.C. trip was hatched. Rep. Dicks relayed how he and David Graybill, Chamber CEO, were talking about “how the Tri-Cities and the Puget Sound Naval Bases Association in Bremerton were going back there” to Washington, D.C. to discuss issues with congressional members. Together, they wondered about doing a similar thing to advocate for “our own incredible bases here in Pierce County.”

“We wanted to tell key officials, ‘Thank You,’” said Rep. Dicks, “We had lots to talk about and the C-17s were a good one to start with.”

Rep. Dicks went on to say how there were now 44 cargo lifting C-17s based out of McChord Air Force Base. He felt the Washington-to-Washington, D.C. annual trip was one of the best advocacy programs the Chamber "accomplishes year in and year out."

The subject of the economy was reviewed as well. Citing large numbers of area military personnel, civilian employees, and retirees, Rep. Dicks stated “their sheer numbers act as a stabilizing effect” on our economy. “The millions of dollars in construction contracts and resulting numbers of local workers,” he added, “provide additional certainty during economic downturns.”

Rep. Dicks ended the interview with several statements about how the Chamber has maintained a great relationship with local officials like himself under the guidance of CEO David Graybill. He discussed how the Chamber has played a major role in the revitalization of downtown and how it has been a positive force for job creation e.g. working with him and others to convince Boeing to develop a plant site in Frederickson. He believes the overall position in the business community is well represented by the Chamber.

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