Last Thursday the 2016 SA to DC delegation returned from four days in Washington D.C. where teams met with Members of Congress, Department Officials, Agency leadership and Administration Appointees to advocate for the needs of San Antonio and the South Texas region.  More than 130 business and community leaders blanketed our nation’s capital and advocated for the priorities that your Chamber volunteers developed to help San Antonio in many areas including education, manufacturing, energy, aerospace, military, healthcare, cybersecurity, water, transportation, small business, immigration and community development.

One of our 2016 Chamber Chairman Renée Flores’ goals for this year’s trip was to provide attendees access to the highest level of speakers and the most unique venues possible.  The group hosted speakers the first morning of the trip in the Members Only Congressional Auditorium at the Capitol Visitors Center and the second morning listened to Congressional leadership in the Members Room at the historic Library of Congress.  Our San Antonio delegation engaged and heard from the highest levels of leadership in the House and Senate, including: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan; House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy; House Majority Whip Steve Scalise; Admiral Michael Rogers, Director of NSA and Commander, US Cyber Command; US Senators Orrin Hatch, John Cornyn, Bill Cassidy and Joni Ernst; Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers; and Congressman Michael McCaul.

During the annual Chairman’s Reception, presented by IBC Bank, Speaker Ryan spoke to the delegation and commented on his amazement at the size, strength and effectiveness of the delegation from San Antonio and the importance of trips like this in engaging and educating Members of Congress.  During the reception, our San Antonio delegation was joined by 10 House Members including Congressmen Farenthold, Smith, Hurd, Flores, Doggett, Brady, Cuellar, Babin and Weber.  Following the reception, the delegation had a laughter-filled evening at the Chairman’s Dinner presented by AT&T.  The dinner featured the first ever SA to DC Conversations event with Texas Tribune Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith and President Pro Tempore of the US Senate, Orrin Hatch.

Since 1978, the San Antonio Chamber has led the annual SA to DC trip to the nation’s capital comprised of members of the business community and state/local elected officials. Partnering with the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Free Trade Alliance, this trip continues to increase the influence, effectiveness and relationships that business leaders need with Washington leadership.

In addition to the collective impact that the participants had on our nation’s leaders, SA to DC also continues to provide a unique platform for high-level networking, an opportunity for the local community to understand the challenges and prospects that face our economy as the city continues to grow. You can find pictures from SA to DC 2016 on the Chamber’s Picasa Page.

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