ACCE's Government Relations Division e-newsletter

March 2015

In this Issue

If you have any comments about this enewsletter, or would like to recommend news items or reports for future issues, please contact Hannah Nequist at ACCE.

About the GR Division
As the longest running division sub-group of ACCE, this network is a robust resource for ideas, benchmarking and best practice sharing. In addition to monthly calls and collection of online samples and information, we’re planning this year for an audit of current online resources and improved conference calls through guest speakers, and issue-focused agendas.

Of course, member participation and input is essential. We urge you to join the monthly calls, submit discussion topics, visit our HERO pages, and attend the convention. Your engagement helps us to learn what programs, services and content are most relevant.


Introducing Katie Kirkpatrick

Katie Kirkpatrick

Katie Kirkpatrick, the new chair of ACCE’s Government Relations Division, is chief policy officer at the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) leading the Public Policy team which focuses on public policy, government affairs and political action.

She joined MAC in 2007, overseeing public policy work on water, air, energy and quality growth issues. She managed and staffed the 2011 Sustainable Economic Growth Initiative made up of regional business and community leaders. That effort led to the creation of the MAC Clean Tech Leadership Council, which is focused on growing 6,000 jobs in the clean tech sector by 2017. Following her environmental role, she served as senior vice president for Business Higher Education, which focused on driving discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship through collaboration of business and higher education.

Kirkpatrick holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Auburn University, and is a registered professional engineer in Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina. She is currently vice-chair of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District and past board chair for the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership. She is a 2011 recipient of Atlanta Business Chronicle's prestigious "40 Under 40" award and is an active alumna of Leadership Atlanta.

She and her husband, Dow, and their two boys reside in Atlanta, where she volunteers for various youth sports leagues.

"I look forward to sharing, learning and deepening membership engagement with ACCE's Government Relations Division," Kirkpatrick said. "Knowledge is power, but only if you share it! I hope that together we can elevate overall public policy performance in the chamber world."

Public Opinion on Juvenile Justice in America

According to a 2014 study commissioned by the Pew Charitable trusts, voters support sending severe juvenile offenders to corrections facilities, but they prefer an array of lower-cost alternatives for less serious offenders. The study found that voters across parties are strongly in favor of probation programs as well as family and school intervention over incarceration for nonviolent crime. Voters say that the juvenile justice system should focus on providing rehabilitation services to prevent crime even if it means offenders spend less or no time in a corrections facility. For the full report on the study’s findings, click here.

Upcoming Events

Invest Early and Often: The Economic Case for Early Childhood Education
Thursday, April 2
3–4 p.m. EDT
Pre-registration is required.

A powerful body of research shows that children who have a high quality preschool and early educational experience are more likely to graduate from high school and pursue post-secondary education. Investing in children during their earliest and most formative years is a strategy proven to help close the achievement gap and prepare the future workforce for career success. Learn how chambers of commerce are incorporating early childhood education into their economic development strategies through:

  • Creating birth-to-five community partnerships that prepare children to be kindergarten-ready
  • Expanding access to high-quality pre-K through advocacy
  • Developing efforts to better integrate and align early care and education with the K-12 system

April Government Relations Division call
Thursday, April 23
2 p.m. EDT
Phone: (857) 232-0156 Pin: 128553
Mark your calendars! Join your government relations peers for a 60-minute open discussion on Thursday, April 23 at 2 p.m. EDT. This month's topic is leveraging your GR activities for investor relations.

Featured Resources

Click the links below to explore a selection of valuable resources available on

Early Childhood Education Policy Chamberpedia Page – New!
Includes samples of position statements, advocacy toolkits, talking points, and links to chamber-led initiatives advocating for access to high quality early childhood education.

Indy Connect: A Case Study in Policy Development, Stakeholder Management, and Legislative Strategy
Hear the recording of last month's webinar with Division Member Mark Fisher of the Indy Chamber discussing a successful three-year effort to win voter and legislative support for the "Indy Connect" transportation initiative. You can also access the presentation slides and other supporting materials on our Webinar A-Z page.

Chambers for U.S. Infrastructure Investment
In an effort led by Gary Toebben, CCE, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, more than 260 local, regional and state chambers of commerce and economic development councils signed a letter urging Congress to resolve the impending insolvency of the federal Highway Trust Fund. Signers represent organizations and communities of all sizes from all 50 states. This is a true chorus of business support for infrastructure investment.

Updates are still being made to the list of signatories. If you'd like to add your voice, email Ian Scott.

In the News

Is Obama Proposal the End of Taxpayer-Subsidized Sports Stadiums?
An item in the president's new budget would put an end to the longstanding practice of states and cities using tax-exempt bonds to finance professional sports arenas. Supporters of the measure cite the $146 million cost to the U.S. Treasury, not to mention the yearly bite out of states' tax collections. However, opponents point to the economic development benefits for new growth in the areas surrounding new stadiums as well as tourism revenue from fans visiting the area.

Dallas, Fort Worth chambers develop accountability index for Texas Lawmakers
A new joint resource of the Dallas Regional and Fort Worth Chambers, the Pro-Growth Legislative Accountability Index, tracks how area lawmakers vote on issues important to the chamber. Dallas Regional Chamber President Dale Petroskey said the chamber is interested in increasing voter education and engagement, and believes this tool will help with that.

How U.S. Cities Have Changed Since 2000
This interactive map developed by The Pew Charitable Trusts provides a visual representation of which cities have experienced the most growth (or loss) in population since 2000. Major trends include growth in the South and West and shrinking in other cities, especially the industrial Midwest.


ACCE's Official Corporate Sponsors
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National Chamber Program / Office Depot

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