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  Councilmember Tom Butt Kick Starts the Government Affairs Calendar for 2013
March 7, 2013

From Richmond Chamber of Commerce:
Councilmember Tom Butt kick starts the Government Affairs calendar for 2013
March 6, 2013
marketing-street-sign-100Article by Michelle Blackwell, Government Relations Committee Chair
Councilmember Tom Butt addressed about 20 members of the government affairs committee and interested chamber members at the March 5th breakfast meeting.  He came prepared to discuss economic growth and issues that impact local business.  Butt is currently pressing his fellow councilmember’s to restart a branding campaign study that was postponed in 2009.  Chevron is working with the City and has offered to pay for the study.  The goal of the study is to find the best way to market Richmond.
Michelle Blackwell is the Community Affairs Representative for the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) and serving as the 2013 Chair of the Government Relations Committee.
Councilmember Butt also reported on surveys he has commissioned using interns who are working for the City Council.  The interns have been tasked with contacting new businesses to get information about why they chose Richmond, what if any issues did they have with getting started and if they had suggestions to make it easier.  Butt started this process in 2012 and is continuing it in 2013.  Butt reported that on the positive side many new businesses are started by residents and they generally are happy with the help they get from City staff.  On the other side they have asked for online business license applications, have indicated that they have trouble finding qualified employees and they believe crime concerns impact business.
Butt also went over a detailed list of ideas that he culled from a conference he attended in Kansas City.  In summary, Richmond should focus on leveraging existing assets to attract young professionals and businesses to the City, fix the problem with crime, and make sure there are opportunities for quality education and entertainment.  In other words if you make Richmond attractive the jobs will come.  Other areas discussed at the meeting were Real Estate Prices, GDP, Resident/Job Balance in Richmond, Zombie Mortgages, Doctors Hospital and the Point Molate Beach.
The Richmond Chamber Government Affairs Committee meets monthly on the third Tuesday of the month at 8:30 AM.  In addition, we will be holding regular meetings with elected representatives on the first Tuesday of the month.  Watch the chamber calendar for these events.  It’s a great way to get to know fellow chamber members and to meet your elected representatives.