Building Our 2019 Public Policy Priorities

Jul 26, 2018

Certain times of the year our public policy advocacy efforts are publicly front and center. Other times, the work is being done behind the scenes, as is usually the case over the summer months. Of course, in the public policy world, there are always exceptions, as you read about our aggressive advocacy on international trade policies that affect our local economies. This summer’s behind the scenes work includes gathering input and ideas to build consensus for our 2019 public policy priorities and is equally important to the advocacy work we do on behalf of our members.

Using our guiding principles, which can be found on our website at ( and unfinished work from previous years, we begin seeking input on what priorities our members want us to concentrate on in the coming year. Sometimes we have an item on our agenda for multiple years, like federal funding for flood protection. Although, you won't find that on our agenda next year, as it was recently awarded to the City of Cedar in the form of $117 million dollars. Other times, the item is on our agenda for only a year before we see success.

Feedback from member meetings, direct input from our Innovation Councils, Policy Board and other governance committees provide us with direction on policy matters our members want us to engage in. We also work in sync with our regional partners on the municipal and county levels, as well as the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce.

That process sets in motion our plans and then political realities decide our tactics to achieve success. It is at this point when our association with likeminded statewide groups become the most useful. The Professional Developers of Iowa (PDI), the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) and Iowa Chamber Alliance (ICA) are among our most effective allies within the advocacy world.

ICA, a non-partisan coalition of the 16 largest Chambers of Commerce and economic development organizations throughout Iowa, provides the Economic Alliance strength through numbers. Each year the group puts forth an agenda to grow the state’s economy through support of policies and programs that stimulate economic growth opportunities for the entire state and its residents.

The ICA coalition focuses on pro-growth, pro-business policies and by working together we will continue to create significant, positive changes that will prepare Iowa for the future. For each of the 16, the first and most important voice we need is from our members. It is your stories, needs, and ideas that we seek to continue to work for aggressive, forward-thinking statewide policies that make Iowa stronger.

Contact Barbra Solberg, Public Policy Strategist, at to share your story, ideas or thoughts on future public policy agenda opportunities.

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