From Advocacy to Action: EASC's Influence on Policy Development

From Advocacy to Action: EASC's Influence on Policy Development Main Photo

30 May 2024

The 2024 Legislative Session in Washington State marked a pivotal period for economic development initiatives, set against the backdrop of a dynamic political landscape. As the session unfolded, it became increasingly evident that effective advocacy would be instrumental in shaping policies vital to economic growth. Economic Alliance Snohomish County (EASC), in collaboration with stakeholders from both the private and public sectors, navigated through this intricate landscape, advocating for measures that foster a conducive environment for businesses to grow  and communities to thrive

The Legislative Landscape and EASC’s Advocacy Framework

The 2024 Legislative Session, which began on January 8th and concluded on March 7th, unfolded amid a political landscape characterized by a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and the State Senate.

Economic Alliance Snohomish County (EASC) entered the session armed with a strategic approach to advocacy encapsulated in two key documents: the Legislative Agenda and the Policy Manual. These documents underscored EASC's commitment to fostering a competitive business environment, nurturing a skilled workforce, bolstering infrastructure, and cultivating thriving communities. Such pillars serve as cornerstones for sustainable economic development.

Advocacy in Action

Throughout the session, EASC championed various initiatives aligned with its advocacy priorities. Collaborating with the Washington Economic Development Association (WEDA) and Association for Washington Business (AWB) EASC tirelessly campaigned for increased funding for Associate Development Organizations (ADOs) and policies to support business growth. Recognizing the pivotal role of economic development in job creation and regional prosperity, EASC's efforts secured a modest funding increase benefiting rural ADOs’. Additionally, EASC played a pivotal role in opposing a bill mandating unemployment benefits for workers on strike, safeguarding the interests of businesses against potential economic repercussions.

Workforce and Talent Development

EASC's advocacy extended to workforce and talent development initiatives. Supporting measures to enhance access to student financial aid and streamline licensure compacts, EASC underscored the importance of equipping the workforce with the requisite skills to meet evolving industry demands.

Looking Ahead

EASC remains aware of the ongoing imperative for robust advocacy. Recognizing the interconnectedness of economic policies and regional prosperity, EASC continues its collaborative efforts with stakeholders, legislators, and industry associations. The forthcoming November 2024 election cycle underscores the need for sustained advocacy, ensuring that economic development remains a focal point for policymakers at all levels.

EASC remains steadfast in its commitment to advocacy, recognizing its indispensable role in driving sustainable economic growth and prosperity for Snohomish County.