Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Legislative Agenda Contents

1.  Preamble…………………………………………………………………..2

2. Letter from the Chair……..…………………..…………………….….…..3

3. General Legislative Position Statements……………..…………….……4

4. Specific Legislative Position Statements…………………………………5-6

5. Member Chambers & Participating Chambers……………..…………...8-9

2015 TAAACC Legislative Taskforce Members:

DeVoyd Jennings – Ft. Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce

Brian Rowland  – Prairie View Chamber of Commerce

 

PREAMBLE

The Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) is prepared to lend its support to efforts targeting our state’s challenges. The 84th Legislative Session convenes to address these challenges on behalf of a dramatically more diverse constituency (as our census has already shown), against the backdrop of a fiscal climate which makes finding the means to meet the expectations of Texas communities increasingly difficult.

Ensuring that all segments of our society enjoy meaningful opportunities to achieve the American dream is the challenge and it will demand much from this state’s best and brightest.

The challenge holds especially true in efforts to shape solutions for communities teetering on the brink of becoming socio-economic wastelands: where economic growth is often nonexistent, and where solutions to public education’s deficiencies, poverty, crime, welfare, discrimination, substance abuse, inadequate housing, and high un- and under employment are irrefutably linked. Effective policies to answer these challenges must be meaningfully balanced and holistic.

TAAACC believes Texas’ future as a national leader in economic vitality and social responsibility is at stake in this 84th Legislature. We will advance our concerns to our elected representatives as evidence of our commitment to help ensure a productive and inclusive agenda for Texas. 

  

Letter from the Chair

I am both pleased and humbled by the confidence the board has placed in me, electing me to Chair the Texas

Association of African America Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC).  


The accomplishments we made during 2014-2015 have brought us a great deal of personal satisfaction and 

contributed to TAAACC’s ability to be efficient, flexible and better prepared to meet the needs of a recovering

business economy.


I look forward to continuing this process with the support of our Board, as well as the twenty-two member 

associates of TAAACC  and roughly ten thousand businesses whose hard work is central to our mission.

We all know that these have not been easy times for businesses. However, TAAACC has a long tradition of 

creating opportunities both in the public and private sector. To make sure we continue to have a robust pipeline

of contracts which will provide opportunities for our qualified members, we will also continue to work with 

federal, state, local governments as well as our private sector partners to secure opportunities. We will continue

the growth of our programs and provide opportunities for more minority owned businesses. In addition, we will

continue to focus on sustainability, while encouraging more energy efficiency in our projects. We will continue to

pursue legislative that will increase our client base while we also streamline and refine our own internal 

processes.


Our past Governor, Rick Perry challenged our state government to do more with less.  Our newly elected

Governor, Greg Abbott has not articulated his goals for the business community.   I believe this is a challenge

to all of us – a call to fine-tune the way we do business, making us that much better prepared for the

opportunities which lie ahead.


As TAAACC analyzes this 84thd Legislative session, we are appreciative to our legislative advisory that 

assist us in formulating our legislative policy.


There will be considerable time spent on health care delivery, school accountability, school vouchers, and voter

I.D. will consume legislative time and effort. Legislators will also be spending enormous time debating 

immigration issues.


Other issues that will be addressed during this session are: Business and Economic Development, Criminal 

Justice and Public Safety, Health and Human Services, Public Education, Higher Education, Energy and 

Environment, Transportation, Government Organization and Judiciary.


Texas is a great state with great people and prospects. TAAACC is supportive of ongoing efforts to spend 

public money more efficiently, but we should not miss the opportunity to prepare for a future with better 

education and training, resulting in rising incomes and greater opportunities.

Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) policy is to monitor the political

landscape to assure all businesses have the opportunity to succeed in Texas.  Also, TAAACC places special

emphasis on small businesses that are DBE’s and/or HUB’s, while advocating for policies that allow greater

participation based on the Texas’ most recent Availability & Disparity Study.  We pray God’s blessing on this

84th Legislative Session of the great State of Texas.


We look forward to working with you, and I hope to see you at the 2015 TAAACC Annual Conference 

September 24-26, 2015.


Christopher C. Herring,

Chairman

The Texas Associate of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC)
The Voice and Resource for African-American Chambers of Commerce
 and the Business Community”



General Legislative Position Statements

Advocate Legislation:

Enlist legislators to sponsor and endorse legislation on issues germane to TAAACC member interest.

Support Legislation:

Upon request, canvas legislators and/or testify before legislative committees on issues pertinent to TAAACC member interest.

Endorse Legislation:

Express TAAACC support of legislation through telephone banks, email/social media, op-ed and letters-to-the-editor campaigns and constituency letter writing.

Study Legislation:

Examine impact of all legislation on TAAACC constituency, and

Oppose Legislation:

Engage legislators to oppose and seek legislator(s) to kill legislation detrimental to TAAACC constituency.

Specific Legislative Positions Statements

Advocate Legislation:

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Advocates legislation on the development of a Community Re-Investment-style  act focused on the insurance industry (at issue is the fact that most low income areas are red-lined);

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Advocates legislation on the prohibition of the use of credit scores in underwriting and rating certain lines of insurance coverage;

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Advocates legislation on the prohibition of insurance discrimination;

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Advocates legislation on insurers’ rate practices.

Support Legislation:

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Supports legislation on the continued use of the 1/2 cent sales tax collected by cities to fund economic development efforts as well as other incentives;

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Supports legislation to increase funding for the Skills Development Program and maintain funding at the Texas Workforce Commission to improve workforce training;

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Supports a Texas transportation/mobility policy that results in improved highways, ports of entry and other infrastructure that facilitates trade and increases the effective flow of products and services.

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Supports legislation that increases electric power generation capacity including renewable energy;

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Supports legislation that encourages conservation while balancing environmental concerns;

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Supports legislation that enhances Texas’ ability to attract conventions and increase tourism in the state;

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Supports legislation that encourages parents to become active partners with teachers and administrators;

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Supports legislation that continues the innovative “top ten percent” rule for college admission;

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Supports legislation that sustains efforts to reduce drop-out rates (i.e. Communities in Schools Program), by rewarding campuses focusing on helping young people stay in school (especially ninth graders), graduate, and prepare for life;

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Supports legislation that requires student accountability;

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Supports legislation that promotes government transparency -- inclusive of legislative votes;

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Supports legislation that incentivizes businesses to participate in school initiatives such as “Adopt a School”, or “Stay in School”, etc.;

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Supports legislation that maintains franchise (margin) tax relief for small business;

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Supports legislation that explores ways to reduce the high cost of health insurance through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including co-ops;

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Supports legislation that reduces cost of health care through aggregation of clients (i.e. groups of chambers of commerce);

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Supports legislation that develops the Texas water plan, in order to keep Texas as a viable economic development engine.

Endorse Legislation:

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Endorses legislation on non-partisan election of qualified judges;

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Endorses legislation that gives local option to municipalities dealing with 8-liner machines.

Study Legislation:

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) will Study legislation creating a Gaming Commission;

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Study legislation on the impact of “vouchers” on current public school funding;

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) will Study legislation on the impact of Privatization of State Government and services or functions.

Oppose Legislation:

Ø  Texas Association of African American Chambers of Commerce (TAAACC) Opposes legislation creating HUB (Historically Underutilized Business) classifications that our courts of law have not determined such disparities exist.


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