The Greater Chamber of Commerce Bethesda-Chevy Chase
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2014 - 2015 ADVOCACY AGENDA
The Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce works to achieve a thriving Montgomery County and greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase region by supporting efforts to strengthen economic vitality; improve competitiveness relative to our neighbors; attract new businesses, residents, and nonprofits while supporting and retaining existing ones; and recognize the business community’s contributions to the quality of life in our County and region. To accomplish this mission, the Chamber promotes and advocates the following:
Systemic change is needed to replace outdated and irresponsible fiscal policies with proactive planning and innovation.
• Responsible County and State budgets that address shortfalls by tackling the structural deficit, systemic pension reform, and general spending restraints.
• Targeted economic development expenditures primarily to attract new and retain existing businesses and residents, in order to sustain and grow the tax base (e.g., expenditures to support the Montgomery Business Development Corporation).
• Mandatory in-depth governmental analysis of the fiscal impact on the regulated parties prior to adoption of all proposed County legislation and regulations.
• Legislation and programs that support small businesses and non-profits, such as procurement reserves, redevelopment impact funds, and education.
• Repeal of legislation that directly or indirectly increases the costs of doing business in the County for our members – specifically, a reduction in the energy tax increase and amend the current bag tax.
• Reducing barriers to entry and promoting the diversity of businesses that attract young adults to the County, recognizing the positive effect that young adults have on the County’s long-term economic viability and vitality.
• Privatization of the wholesale and retail beverage alcohol system (distribution and sale of beer, wine, and liquor to on premise and off-premise licensees).
• Reform of the liquor licensing process in order to provide more flexibility and better opportunities for licensees.
LAND USE AND TRANSPORTATION
Increased growth and development around existing and planned Metrorail, Purple Line, and Rapid Transit Vehicle stations will grow our tax base, attract new businesses and residents, remove vehicle trips from our roadways, and improve quality of life.
• Approval and ongoing support for master and minor sector plan amendments (e.g., the Bethesda Downtown Plan, White Flint and White Flint II, Chevy Chase Lake and Westbard) and redevelopment proposals that foster transit-oriented development, bring new tax revenue to the County, and promote sustainability and smart growth principles.
• A comprehensive school capacity solution that ensures sufficient and realistic resources in the County’s Capital Improvements Program and eliminates the potential for subdivision approval moratoriums.
• Implementation of the Purple Line light rail and trail along the Georgetown Branch alignment.
• Short- and long-term improvements to the Bethesda Metro Station through the Bethesda Metro Improvement Task Force in partnership with WMATA and other parties.
• Across-the-board improvement of the Metro system (including management, safety, reliability, and communications,) and dedicated regional funding for WMATA (including all 8-car trains) that is reliable and predictable.
• Support for our area urban district services (e.g., the Bethesda Urban Partnership and the White Flint Urban District).
• Protection and expansion of the Bethesda Circulator service and Ride-On bus routes to transit nodes and employment centers within the greater B CC region.
• Implementation of a Rapid Transit Vehicle (RTV) system, bikeshare, telecommuting, transit ridership incentives, and other programs that help reduce vehicle trips.
• Innovative, coordinated, and long-term transportation improvements to address the impacts of BRAC-related expansion at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and growth at the National Institutes of Health.
• Accelerated construction of the State portion of Montrose Parkway (east of Rockville Pike to Veirs Mill Road).
• Improvements to technology and services for Parking Lot District (PLD) users and protection of the fiscal integrity of the Bethesda PLD.
• Oversight and vigilance of the Maryland Transportation Trust Fund to ensure that funds are directed, as appropriate, to the greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase community to secure positive outcomes.
• Continued independence of the County’s Transportation Management Districts (TMDs), specifically Bethesda Transportation Solutions and the North Bethesda TMD, in recognition of the key roles they play in “branding” the areas that they serve.
PUBLIC HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND SAFETY
These facets of our community are vital to attracting new businesses and residents and retaining existing ones, and maintaining the stature and quality of life for which the County and region have become well known.
• Reform of the maintenance of effort (MOE) law to respect the County’s fiscal situation and ensure that every County agency receives its due share of the annual budget.
• The Suburban Hospital campus enhancement project, to ensure continuation of quality health care in the region.
• Reinvestment of fees and taxes generated in the Bethesda Urban District, including the Bethesda PLD, to improve and upgrade existing facilities and services including street lighting, streetscape, and pedestrian facilities.
• Improvement to our community’s public health and safety by restoring and maintaining budgetary resources allocated to our first responders, and preserving the significant contribution of volunteers in providing first-class fire, rescue, and EMS services.
CULTURAL ENRICHMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS
The County and the Greater B-CC region can remain on the cutting edge of cultural enrichment and environmental awareness through novel and innovative partnerships and approaches.
• Legislative awareness of the fiscal challenges facing cultural arts organizations, including the need for sustained annual County government funding amongst them.
• Partnerships with Bethesda Green to promote sustainable business and living practices by providing education about eco-friendly programs, best practices, and business incentives.
• Support for public-private partnerships that encourage innovation in cultural arts and environmental practices.
Join the Chamber Today!
"The Chamber has been a wonderful resource for me to grow my business, make great onnections and learn first hand about what’s happening in our community.
~ Diane Yockelson
Peak Impact LLC
Issues and Legislative Updates
Copyright © 2014 The Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved.
7910 Woodmont Avenue,Suite 1204, Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: (301) 652-4900 | Fax: (301) 657-1973 |