Advocacy: Our Legislative Efforts on Behalf of Members

Advocate:  one that supports or promotes the interests of another…”

The Baltimore Washington Corridor Chamber has spent more than six decades supporting and promoting the interests of business in our regional community.  Our founder, Ann Sightler Musgrave, believed that businesses needed a means to draw together to solve challenges and have a collective voice for business interests—and thus the BWCC was born.

The Legislative Committee is focused principally on regional and statewide issues, but weighs in, when appropriate, on local and federal issues.  Efforts are concentrated on the regional/statewide level through the following:

  1. Using the volunteer resources of member firms that have a specific interest in legislative issues (lobbying firms, utilities, institutions, business organizations, etc.)  to develop a general policy/position statement in advance of the legislative session, indicating what general proposals would likely be opposed and supported.  This document also provides a macro-view of issues the BWCC believes need to be anticipated by members of the Maryland General Assembly.
  2. Utilize more directly and specifically the resources made available by the Maryland Chamber of Commerce (MCC) and its legislative committee.  The principal focus of the Maryland Chamber is legislative advocacy and its 50-member legislative committee is comprised of lobbyists and interested persons from a cross-section of the Maryland business community.  The MCC lobbyist staff works full-time to read every legislative proposal and research those in which there is a statewide business interest.  Position statements are written, which the MCC Legislative Committee approves and/or amends.  This information will inform the basis of the BWCC position and be leveraged to quickly inform BWCC membership as well as provide information for communicating the BWCC position to elected officials.
  3. Streamline the approval process for position documents being sent to elected officials. The policy/position statements will form a basis for development, with review by the BWCC Legislative Committee for conformance and accuracy.  A log of legislation and position statements will be maintained on the BWCC website as well as provided in an overview format to the Board of Directors in advance of each meeting.  Similarly, the membership will be advised of legislative issues and positions through the BWCC newsletter and special publications.  Items of a divisive nature that have a large number of members both for and against the proposed legislation will be directed to the Executive Committee and/or Board of Directors for development of a position statement.
  4. Inform legislators of the Maryland General Assembly about the work and programs of the BWCC both prior to and during the General Assembly session.  This will be accomplished through a brief position newsletter specifically geared to legislators, profiling programs and special persons, programs or profiles.
  5. Local (county/city) issues will be addressed on an ad hoc basis, and be vested in a volunteer who agrees to monitor the legislative activities of the local legislative body.  Similarly, federal issues will be monitored by a volunteer as well as through the ongoing review and dissemination of information provided by the U. S. Chamber of Commerce and other resources.

We encourage your participation in the Legislative Committee.  Please call upon us whenever we may be of assistance with a legislative matter at any level of government.