Ohio Chamber Champions
Much like Ohio, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce finds itself at a crossroads. Over the last three decades, the Chamber focused on advocacy in response to the Ohio General Assembly evolving into an essentially full-time legislature. In light of ever increasing government involvement in business regulation the Chamber has been effective in protecting business through its advocacy efforts. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that advocacy alone is no longer enough. The Chamber must embolden its strategy to not only continue effective advocacy efforts but to also expand its scope of work. By expanding the current grassroots program, re-engaging as a business research institution and proactively battling initiatives proposed by anti-business special interest groups, the Chamber Champions program will provide Ohio businesses with excellent protection and representation.
The Champion Program will continue supporting the work of the Chamber’s excellent advocacy and investor benefits. In addition, the Ohio Chamber will expand three areas crucial to Ohio business with the assistance of the Chamber Champions.
The Chamber must be able to arm Ohio business and the Ohio Legislature with solid research, aiding both in making sound decisions that will benefit Ohio’s economy. The Ohio Chamber will use our educational foundation to accomplish this goal, creating a mechanism to study the impact of certain legislative proposals and initiatives on the business community.
2. Grassroots Development
The Chamber currently informs businesses of important political issues and candidates through the Political and Candidate Education (P.a.C.E.) program. The program must be expanded to allow the Chamber to act nimbly when faced with important legislative issues – mobilizing local business leaders to advocate to their legislators on behalf of Ohio business.
The Ohio Chamber has been reacting to several anti-business ballot initiatives over the last few years. The latest issue is the mandated sick-leave proposal by SEIU. The business community has to become proactive, ready to fight anti-business initiatives. By garnering the necessary resources, the business community can be prepared for whatever issues anti-business special interest groups propose. The Chamber Champions may even propose a ballot initiative to protect the hallowed nature of the Ohio Constitution by making it more difficult to get on the ballot and/or requiring a 3/5 super-majority for passage.