Chamber unveils 2017 Agenda for Regional Prosperity at joint Missouri and Illinois Public Affairs Network meeting

by Charlie Hinderliter | Jan 03, 2017

Joe Reagan, President and CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber, kicked off the joint Public Affairs Network luncheon on December 16th with an update on the Chamber’s 2017 strategy.  Joe was followed by Hart Nelson, Vice President of Public Policy at the Chamber, who went over highlights of 2016, laid out the Chamber’s 2017 policy agenda, and shared some predictions for 2017.

The St Louis Regional Chamber advocates forward-thinking economic policies that result in a safer and more secure region, racial equity, and substantial investments in our region’s infrastructure.  The 2017 Agenda for Regional Prosperity has three core areas: Safety and Security, Equity and Opportunity, and Build and Invest. 

  • Safety and Security - People cannot prosper economically when they are worried about their basic safety and civil rights. Violent crime creates individual tragedies that devastate families, affects our quality of life and makes it difficult to attract and retain the talent that drives the region’s economy. 
  • Equity and Opportunity: Job creation and sustainable economic growth flourish with open, inclusive education, markets, and capital formation.  St. Louis will flourish by attracting entrepreneurs, innovative employers and talent and by embracing the demands of both entrepreneurial risk-taking and increasing economic mobility.  Public money should focus on community building and improving the fundamentals of community life.  Economic incentives should prioritize talent development and capital formation and be based on net new job growth for the bi-state region rather than shifting jobs across government boundaries. 
  • Build and Invest:  St. Louis needs significant investment in infrastructure that creates jobs, connects where people live with centers of employment and education and the broader world, ensures employers have ready access to critical utilities and freight networks and continues St. Louis’ legacy of open, high quality civic amenities.   Our needs go well beyond surface transportation, such as roads and bridges; our region needs substantial investment in transit, high-speed rail, utilities, parks and projects needed for a vibrant urban core such as competitive sports, convention, and entertainment venues.  These projects will contribute to St. Louis long-term attractiveness, create jobs for people in the near-term, and provide an opportunity for bringing new workers and enterprises into the economy.

Read the 2017 Agenda for Regional Prosperity.