By Stacie LoVan, PDI President
With elections coming up on November 4, PDI needs your help in making the case for economic development with candidates running for elected office. This year is a gubernatorial as well as a state legislative election. Whoever is elected to State government will decide the future of important economic development tools like TIF and determine if and how Iowa's tax structure will be changed. We need to make sure the value of economic development and the importance of a positive business climate is understood and prioritized by all the candidates for State office!
In addition, because Iowa has one senate seat and two congressional seats open in DC, you need to get involved in your local campaigns/community forums. This hasn't happened in a generation and will have a tremendous effect on Iowa's economic development environment.
You need to be talking with the candidates in your district. Here are some suggestions on meeting with the candidates:
- Meet them for coffee at a local coffee shop.
- Invite them out to a local project site or your office.
- Invite them to your board meeting to chat with your board members.
- Invite them to any and all events you plan locally.
- Plan a lunch with other local developers or your local elected officials (you don't have to do it alone!)
- Sit down with them at their campaign headquarters (if they have one).
- Attend local campaign events or fundraisers.
- Attend local candidate forums and ask about their views on economic development.
- Participate in call-in shows and ask about their views on economic development or write an opinion editorial in the local newspaper challenging candidates to support economic development priorities.
What should you be talking about?
- Preserving TIF as a viable local economic development tool. (Talk about how TIF has helped your community grow and prosper.)
- Maintaining a highly-skilled workforce.
- Investing in Iowa's transportation infrastructure.
- Funding Iowa's economic development resources.
- Reforming Iowa's income tax structure to improve Iowa's competitiveness.
- Supporting small business and entrepreneurial programs.
Remember to invite PDI's lobbyists to any of your local legislative events. If they can consolidate a few meetings in the area, they will definitely try to be there. Contact Craig Patterson at (515) 554-7920 or Amy Campbell at (515) 554-5838.
Also, check out PDI's legislative agenda and other legislative resources at www.pdiowa.com/advocacy
• Join PDI for the Fall Conference—September 24-26, 2014
Honey Creek Resort, Moravia, IA
Our Keynote Speaker is Christopher Lloyd, McGuireWoods Consulting, Richmond, VA—his topic: Incentives: The Good, the Bad, and the Responsibility. There is no doubt about it, scrutiny of incentives for economic development projects is on the rise from elected officials, taxpayers, and the media. While financial assistance programs are a necessary tool in our business, there is significant responsibility on the part of the economic developer. Which types of incentives are most effective and which ones should be avoided? This is a must attend session for every economic development practitioner.
Chris Lloyd leads the McGuireWoods Consulting infrastructure and economic development team where he specializes in site selection and economic development incentives negotiations. Chris has also worked closely with clients on numerous public-private partnership projects for transportation and other infrastructure as well as playing a leading role in the development and passage of Virginia's public-private partnership laws. These statutes have since become model legislation for use in other states. As a result of this work, Chris has become a frequent speaker on economic development policy issues and public private partnership projects around the country. Prior to joining McGuireWoods Consulting, Chris served for nearly five years in the Office of the Secretary of Commerce and Trade under Virginia Governors Allen and Wilder. In this position, he was responsible for legislative, budgetary, and regulatory coordination and development for the fifteen agencies within that Secretariat which oversees the state's economic development programs. Chris graduated from the College of William & Mary in 1993. He lives in Richmond with his wife, Megan, and children, Ryan and Meredith.