In pursuing those lofty goals, each of our organizations has garnered respect from within the state’s business community and credibility from elected officials at all levels of government. On our own, we are doing well. Together, we can do even better.
That is why we are so excited that the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce are entering into a strategic alliance that will make our organizations’ already close alignment even stronger, and will increase the influence of the business community statewide.
Together, our numbers are formidable. By granting each other’s current members reciprocal general membership status, we are establishing a joint membership roster of over 1,800 participating businesses across the state. This will create a powerful grassroots network of advocates for policies that will make Arizona’s economy even more competitive.
Already our chambers maintain a close working relationship at both the organizational and policy agenda level.
We each sit on the other’s board of directors, where together we’ve participated in trade missions to Mexico, and have successfully lobbied for funding for Arizona’s trade offices in that country, and other issues important to the state’s employers. We are also each a member of Gov. Doug Ducey’s Zanjeros, a group of business community ambassadors charged with promoting the best our state has to offer. On all of these fronts, we are in key leadership roles. Glenn sits on the board of the Arizona-Mexico Commission, and Lea is the co-chair of Zanjeros.
Our most promising joint venture has been in the establishment of A for Arizona, an education initiative headed by former state Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Graham Keegan, which highlights the work of school leaders in low income areas across Arizona who are earning outstanding results and whose educational models could serve as the basis for replication in other parts of the state.
A for Arizona demonstrates just how impactful our chambers can be when we work together. Our work is setting the stage for future education reforms that will bolster Arizona’s reputation for education excellence.
In addition to reciprocal general memberships, we anticipate organizing joint events and forums, as well as jointly collaborating on research through each chamber’s foundations.
The potential areas for public policy collaboration are many. From enhancing the state’s cross-border trade relationship with Mexico, to reforms to our K-12 and higher education systems, to issues that affect Arizona’s growing Hispanic business community, no two organizations are better positioned to amplify the voice of the broader Arizona business community.
The Arizona Chamber and the Tucson Hispanic Chamber are each driving a public policy agenda that is better positioning Arizona for job growth and business expansion. Together we are poised to make an even more positive impact on our state.