On February 28, approximately 180 business and community leaders joined the Chamber in Austin to advocate for the needs of San Antonio. Our day started with a luncheon at the Hilton Double Tree featuring Evan Smith, CEO and co-founder of the Texas Tribune. Our VIVA Chair Eddie Aldrete had the privilege of moderating this lively and insightful conversation with Evan.
Eddie began by asking questions regarding the state budget, federal budget, school finance, and economic development in Texas. This was not your typical conversation though, as many jokes were exchanged and both Evan and Eddie were extremely excited to talk about current legislative issues at the state and federal level.
Immediately following the luncheon, issue teams departed for the Capitol, where each issue team’s chair and members discussed their legislative priorities with key legislators, the Bexar County Delegation, and other important and influential leaders. In total, 76 meetings were scheduled with Representatives, Senators and agency leaders.
Legislative Priorities highlighted yesterday included appropriation of funds into the Texas Enterprise Fund, continued funding for the Texas Military Preparedness Commission’s Defense Economic Adjustment Assistance Grant (DEAAG), supporting legislation to ensure energy resources are available to Texas businesses and ensuring Texas business tax codes are competitive. The event ended with a memorable evening at the Governor’s Mansion, where guests interacted with Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, and Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott. Governor Abbott and Lt. Governor Patrick both spoke and highlighted the economic success and high quality workforce San Antonio has to offer.
The Chamber partners with the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for ¡VIVA San Antonio! On behalf of all of the partners, we would like to thank our presenting sponsor IBC Bank. We would also like to thank all sponsors including CPS Energy, Bank of America, Port San Antonio, SWBC, USAA, Alamo Academies, Boeing, Professional Contract Services Inc., the Bank of San Antonio, Zachry, H-E-B, the San Antonio River Authority, Firstmark Credit Union, CBRE and Valero Energy Corporation.