Regional advocacy focus of trip to D.C.

Business, government, education and civic  leaders traveled to Washington, D.C., yesterday to provide valuable input on critical issues that affect the CSRA, a region of more than a half million people.

The annual trip, which includes meetings and informal discussions with elected officials and key department heads and decision makers, is a collaborative initiative of four area chambers – the Aiken Chamber, North Augusta Chamber, Augusta Metro Chamber and Columbia County Chamber. Forty of the area’s key leaders will be making the trip.

The Aiken contingency will be led by Chamber Chair Bart Blackwell, B & S Machine Tool, Inc. The CSRA Leadership trip is a very effective way of informing our legislators of key issues important to our businesses and our community. It is an opportunity to keep our elected officials abreast of specific issues affecting our region,” Blackwell said.

Meetings with elected officials and key department heads began yesterday with meetings at the U.S. Chamber and the Department of Homeland Security National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center. 

This morning part of the group is meeting with the senior leadership at the U.S. Department of Energy to discuss issues relevant to the Savannah River Site. (See adjacent box.)The other part of the group is meeting with the White House Communications Office for a briefing.

 This afternoon individual meetings are being held with South Carolina Representative Wilson and Senators Graham and Scott, as well as Georgia Senators Isakson and Perdue and Representatives Hice and Allen. There will be a wide variety of topics covered pertaining to our region at these meetings. 

 “Members of Congress and agency heads find it impressive that our economic region includes two states, but we still find common ground on important issues that affect the half million citizens of our region,” said J. David Jameson, president of the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce.

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