Thursday, August 25, 2011

Senator Cantwell Advocacy Breakfast Highlights

On August 15th, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell stopped by Tacoma to have breakfast with the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber and about 100 of its members. The chamber hosted the advocacy breakfast as part of its continuing representation of businesses with government at all levels. For members, it was a great opportunity to hear from the Senator as well as ask some questions about the state of the economy and how to protect the variety of investments in our region.

The Senator highlighted some of the key benefits of federal funds in the Tacoma area including the clean-up of two superfund sites – the Foss Waterway and the Asarco Smelter – both of which are now becoming desirable mixed use areas capitalizing on Tacoma’s waterfront. She also noted the additional funding provided for law enforcement and the success it has had in reducing gang activity.

Moving forward, Senator Cantwell is focused on maintaining infrastructure investments while continuing to encourage the growth of small business. This means improving access to capital through the approval of the Small Business Jobs Act. Expanding opportunities for small businesses to borrow will allow them room to grow and create more jobs.

One example of her commitment to small business growth has been her continued support of the biofuels innovation occurring here in Washington State. With Senator Cantwell’s support of the BCAP (Biomass Crop Assistance Program), state farmers have the opportunity to receive federal assistance to grow camelina. Through additional investment in production facilities, camelina has the potential to become a “green” alternative to traditional aviation fuels. Senator Cantwell noted that this type of investment builds on the Puget Sound’s long-standing involvement in the aviation industry.

After taking questions from the attendees, Senator Cantwell stuck around to chat with a number of local business owners. The Chamber looks forward to hosting future events with the Senator as we strengthen business ties within Pierce County.

By Guest blogger David Schroedel

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