Promoting & Advocating for Business and Community Development Since 1845
Promoting & Advocating for Business and Community Development Since 1845

Galveston County Legislature Day at the Texas Capitol

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, March 3, 2017
By Lora-Marie Bernard with photos by Ruth Ann Ruiz

Galveston County Legislature Day at the Texas Capitol

About 200 chamber of commerce and government representatives participated Wednesday in the first Galveston County Legislature Day at the Texas Capitol. The collaborative event featured a day of photo opportunities and meetings with Texas legislators about projects that need state support to implement, such as coastal protection and port improvements. County government officials and chamber members from Galveston, Texas City-La Marque, Santa Fe and League City-Bay Area were among those who traveled to Austin for the day.

One of only twelve people documented with Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, Marilu was the subject of a three-part special on 60 Minutes, 60 Minutes Australia, numerous news programs and international news articles, and served as the consultant for the CBS series Unforgettable.

Representative Wayne Faircloth said the day showcased the Galveston County and its communities. “It allows the elected officials here in the Capitol to be able to see the rich resources and the incredible people that inhabit Galveston County and our importance to the state economy and our importance to education and jobs and the industry,” he said. “For me, it’s wanting to shine the spotlight on our county and how important we are and allow the other members of the legislature to experience the people, the seafood and the different things that we have to offer.” Listen (0:43)

During meetings with representatives and senators, chamber representatives presented the legislators with a coffee table book about the history of Hotel Galvez and a journal embossed with the county seal. Santa Fe City Manager Joe Dickson said his team discussed coastal protection, funding for the medical center and the tax caps with half a dozen representatives and senators.

“They have a lot of issues they have to deal with so we will see how it all comes out in the wash,” he said. Listen (1:12)

Galveston Island resident Rusty Carnes, expressed concern about immediate coastal issues including a brewing battle about the cleaning process of a superfund site on the San Jacinto River that threatens Galveston Bay. He said he wanted state legislators to learn the dangers of dredging the site, which is a process the federal government proposes.
“The safest thing to do is to cap them because once they start stirring them up that stuff will be distributed all over the bay,” he said. Listen (0:57)

County Commissioner Ken Clark said the commissioners’ court had conversations for many years about conducting a countywide legislative day but the effort always languished. He described the milestone as an “Open House at the Capitol” because it created ambassadors who raised awareness among legislators who knew little about the Galveston area.

“It allows us to focus on issues that are specific to our county and gives us the ability to work together to achieve the ability to reach out to the representatives and the legislators and have a common message,” he said. “It builds camaraderie and unity in the county when we do that.”

The issue that all members of the delegation discussed with their representatives was the urgency for funding of the “Ike Dike” to protect the Upper Texas Gulf Coast from the devastation by future storm surge.
Following the visits, the chambers hosted a reception with a live band and fresh seafood from Galveston businesses. Among approximately 400 guests attending the party were veteran legislator Babe Schwartz and his wife Marilyn.

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Advocacy. The Business Advocacy Committee shall be charged with the primary responsibility to promote a positive and pro-active business environment in the Galveston area through the following activities:

  1. Developing and supporting local governmental action which promotes a strong business climate and job growth opportunities.
  2. Opposing local governmental action which inhibits a strong business climate and diminishes job growth opportunities.
  3. Establishing productive relationships between business interests and public officials.
  4. Providing forums to inform public officials and candidates for public office on issues impacting the business community.
  5. Providing forums to educate the membership on issues impacting the business community.
  6. Communicating official Chamber positions to the appropriate public officials prior to their action on the issue.
  7. Identifying and supporting individuals to serve on public Commissions and Boards.
  8. Endeavoring to hold public officials accountable for their actions and the resulting impact on the business community. This may be accomplished by the circulation of public official voting records to the Chamber membership on any issue on which the Chamber has communicated an official position.

Advocacy Committee meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month, in conjunction with Legislative Affairs, 8:00 am, in the Chamber Board Room.

Comite de Negocios (Spanish Businesses Committee). This committee's mission is to advocate and act as a liaison for the hispanic owned business community within the region.

The Comite de Negocios meets the 2nd Monday of every month, 8:00 am, in the Chamber Board Room.

C-Crewe. The C-Crewe’s objective is to engage professionals under forty in the Galveston business community, as well as the Chamber of Commerce.

C-Crewe meets the 2nd Friday of every month, 10:00 am, at various locations.

Doolin Maritime Career Pathways. As a committee of the Galveston Chamber of Commerce, the Doolin Maritime Pathways Crew is a coalition of educators, organizations, and businesses that promote local workforce development for the maritime industry.

The Doolin Maritime Career Pathways Committee meets the 3rd Friday of every month, 7:30 am, in the Chamber Board Room.

Education. The mission of this committee is to enhance the quality, accessibility, choice, and usefulness of education for all students, and to support the economic, social, and political viability of Galveston Island.

Education Committee meets the 1st Friday of every month, 7:30am, various locations.

Executive Committee. This committee meets the 2nd Friday of every month, 8:00 am, Chamber offices.

Golf Tournament. The Golf Tournament is a fundraiser for the Chamber.

This committee meets monthly beginning in May, with the exact scheduled to be determined at that time.

Legislative Affairs. The mission for this committee is to advocate through the Legislature for member businesses, providing a voice to not only the State, but at a National level as well.

This committee meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month, 8:00 am, in the Chamber Board Room.

Lemonade Day. Lemonade Day Galveston County, which is an initiative of the Galveston Regional Chamber’s Education Committee, empowers today’s youth to become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. Youth of all ages – from pre-K through high school, across Galveston County can register.

Lemonade Day Committee meets the 1st Friday of every month, 10:00 am, Chamber Board Room.

Membership Development. This committee is tasked with growing and retaining the membership base, through continual review of membership levels and benefits, and listening to the members, their requests, and requirements.

This committee meets the 1st Thursday of every month, 2:00 pm, Chamber offices.

Pelican Island and Galveston Channel Advocacy. This committees mission is promoting and advocating for existing and future land owners and businesses on Pelican Island and the Port of Galveston and its tenants.

This committee meets the 2nd Monday of every month, 11:30 am, at various member locations.

Women’s Conference. The mission of this committee is to give women in the region an opportunity to come together, share and learn from each other.

Women’s Conference Committee meets the 1st Thursday of every month, 3:00 pm in the Chamber Board Room.

Work Force Development. The mission of this committee is to identify skill sets that match employment opportunities in the Galveston Region.

Work Force Development Committee meets the 3rd Wednesday of every month, 9:00 am in the Chamber Board Room.