Tag Archives: City of Peoria

Hamer - June 2011-fornewsletter

Gap is Narrowing on Immigration Reform

Various Arizona Chamber and business leaders have made numerous visits to Washington, D.C. over the years to push for reform of our nation’s badly broken immigration system. As a border state, we understand this issue well. For years, the business community in Arizona has been pressing Congress and the Administration for a secure border, workable visa and guest worker programs, nationwide employee verification programs such as E-Verify, and a way for those who did not enter the country legally but are now contributing to our state to get right with the law, especially those brought to this country as children. The failure of the federal government to act resulted in Arizona and many other states trying to do immigration reform on their own, resulting in a patchwork of policies nationwide.

But it is obvious today that all roads to reform lead through Washington, particularly in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Arizona v. U.S., which held that state attempts to regulate immigration were preempted by federal immigration law.

This past Tuesday, when a group of about 20 Arizona business, faith and law enforcement leaders visited with all nine of our U.S. House members, we were not alone. Over 600 leaders from over 40 states took to Capitol Hill to urge House Members, with a focus on the Republican majority, to support bringing legislation to the floor this year.

I had the privilege to address the gathering on Monday night at the opening reception to discuss why reform is so important and beneficial to our economy and security. Our country’s greatest comparative advantage is that the best, brightest and hardest workers from across the globe desire to work in our country.

Before we hit the Hill on Tuesday, we gathered at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to prepare. The U.S. Chamber and their Senior Vice President Randel Johnson have been the lead business organization on this entire reform effort. At the kickoff meeting we heard from conservative icon Grover Norquist, who made the free-market case for reform.  Former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Rebecca Tallent of the Bipartisan Policy Center remarked that all credible studies of reform point to significant economic and budgetary benefits. Fresno County (Calif.) Sheriff Margaret Mims made a compelling case for the increased security reform could bring. Faith leaders offered a humanitarian case for reform, and our delegation was joined by a number of pastors working in coordination with a coalition called Bibles, Badges and Business.

While in Washington, we had the good fortune to run into ASU President Michael Crow, who is a strong supporter of reform. Our universities would benefit enormously from federal action. As Arizona Board of Regents President Eileen Klein says, “Our ability to produce a highly-skilled workforce and thriving research enterprise that stimulate a growing, vibrant economy for Arizona will be strengthened by balanced immigration laws that promote access to education and economic opportunities.”

Our conversations with our House delegation were positive. While it is fair to say that there were differences in approach, all of our representatives agree that our nation’s immigration system is badly broken, and I believe that they all want to have a hand in getting it fixed.

While we are very proud and thankful for the hard and good work of our two U.S. senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, in crafting the Senate immigration proposal, it is clear that the House, as is its right, will draft its own plan and proceed with a series of bills as opposed to an omnibus. In fact, five different bills ranging from border security measures to efforts to fix some of our visa problems in the high-tech and agricultural sectors have passed two different House committees.

All agreed that we need to enhance our border security. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery offered some suggestions on changes that would allow for him to be more effective in assisting in border security. Nationwide use of E-Verify, a system already in wide use in Arizona due to the requirements of the Legal Arizona Workers Act, is another common area of support. And all agree on the need for visa reform, although there are some differences in scope. There may be an effort in the House to expand on the number of lower-skilled visas available as compared to the Senate bill.

The most difficult issue is how to deal with the 11 million who did not enter this country legally. There is growing support for some type of legalization, and even citizenship for the Dreamers, those individuals brought to the U.S. as children. But it is hard to imagine the citizenship language in the Senate bill passing in the House.

Although there are differences between the Senate and House, those differences are narrowing. But as one of our congressmen told our group, if the House is faced with making an all or nothing choice when considering the Senate legislation, the House will go with nothing.

Hard work will be required to get a package passed. This is not naming a post office. This could be the first significant immigration legislation to pass since 1986. This will take real leadership from Congress and the White House, where our president needs to channel his inner Bill Clinton and put on the charm on Capitol Hill.

Leadership from the business community will be required, too. If the House considers reform this year, job creators from across the country should welcome the opportunity to help broker a deal between the House, Senate and President Obama. We’re doing our part in Arizona, and we’ll keep at it until a deal gets done.

Postscript: I want to thank everyone who joined our team to urge Congress to pass an immigration reform package.

Barry Broome, President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Economic Council
Lea Marquez Peterson, President and CEO, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County Attorney
Jack Harris, former police chief, City of Phoenix
Mary Ann Miller, President and CEO, Tempe Chamber of Commerce
Chad Heinrich, Vice President of Public Policy and Economic Development, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce
Vice Mayor Tony Rivero, City of Peoria
Steve Moore, President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau
Pastor Gary Kinnaman
Pastor Bob Hake, Orangewood Church, Phoenix
Pastor Dan Steffen, Pure Heart Christian Fellowship, Glendale
Nan and Dick Walden, Farmers Investment Co., Sahuarita, Ariz.
Russell Johnson, President and CEO, Merchants Information Solutions, Inc.
Adam Estle, Bibles, Badges and Business
Brett Hunt, Bibles, Badges and Business

Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans. 

Glenn Hamer is the president and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is committed to advancing Arizona’s competitive position in the global economy by advocating free-market policies that stimulate economic growth and prosperity for all Arizonans. 

medical.research

City of Peoria honors BioAccel

BioAccel has received the City of Peoria’s 2013 Economic Development Award for the development and management of BioInspire, a medical device-focused accelerator program. MaryAnn Guerra, BioAccel’s CEO, and Thomas Rainey, Director of BioInspire, will accept the award on behalf of BioAccel’s staff, Board and advisors at the Peoria Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Awards Celebration, May 22, 2013.

A City of Peoria-funded initiative, BioInspire was launched by BioAccel on September 25, 2012. To date, it has supported the recruitment of six new portfolio companies providing advisory services, funding, individual and common laboratory space and support services at the 6,800-square-foot facility in Peoria. Arizona Medical Systems, Hildeez, Kulira Technologies, Nasseo, Yolia Health and Stimwave Technologies are located at BioInspire.

“The next several years will be exciting as the City continues to execute its Economic Development Implementation Strategy and nurture this public-private partnership to support the region’s bioscience industry,” said Scott Whyte, the City of Peoria’s economic development services director. “As the clients at BioInspire grow and prosper, they will graduate from the resource rich accelerator program into their own commercial space within the City. BioAccel was chosen for this award based on their leadership and execution in assisting us in stimulating the local and regional economy, and planting the seeds for future growth.”

BioInspire’s goal is to create knowledge industry jobs and entrepreneurial wealth by supporting viable new medical device companies.

“Portfolio companies will play a vital role in Peoria’s economic development through their scalable businesses and the products derived from their innovative research. BioAccel provides critical support for that effort by providing proof-of-concept and seed funding, flexible office and lab space, and business and regulator advisory services. This significantly increases their chances of success,” Guerra said.

BioAccel’s interdisciplinary team manages a rigorous client selection process complemented by an expert advisory council that approves final selection of prospective company applications. The Council of Advisors includes senior managers from Medtronic, Covidien, West Valley Bancorp, HLM Partners, the City of Peoria and capital sources among others.

BioAccel was established to stimulate the development of technologies and spin-off companies based on research conducted at other public and private institutions and by local entrepreneurs.

BioAccel is a nonprofit organization dedicated to translating life science discoveries into new business opportunities that drive economic development. Since its founding in 2009, it has invested close to $2.5 million into companies and projects that have secured over $12.6 million in follow on funding thus far. For more information visit www.bioaccel.org.

Corporate Green Programs & Practices - city-of-peoria - AZ Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010

BIG Green Awards: Corporate Green Programs & Practices

Twelve categories, hundreds of nominations — but only one will take home the green. It’s the first annual Southwest Build-it-Green Awards, where BIG teamed up with the USGBC to bring you the leanest sustainable leaders and projects in Arizona.

Recipient: City of Peoria

Green initiatives have gone from paper and thoughts to parks and neighborhoods in the city of Peoria. City employees at every level, from the mayor to the custodial staff, have supported Peoria’s push for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly community.

City leaders added a sustainability policy to Peoria’s general plan, and a Sustainability Action Plan sets goals and measures progress in eight green areas. The Sustainability Action Plan includes goals in the areas of rethinking energy use, managing water resources, and promoting sustainable development and green-collar jobs. The city also created the “Sustain & Gain” motto as a central message to help promote these goals.

In addition, the city created a sustainability matrix to maintain goals and action plans for cost-effective green practices. As a living document, the matrix sets timelines for the completion of goals, keeps an inventory of accomplished goals and designates project leaders.

Along with setting goals and creating plans, Peoria also ceased distributing paper pay stubs to employees who are paid electronically, and the city only posts job openings online. City employees are encouraged to use green forms of transportation, be environmentally aware, present major progress made in areas of the Sustainability Action Plan at forums, and participate in green programs. For the public, Peoria’s Building Community Speakers Series hosts presentations by experts in fields related to sustainability at city council meetings.

www.peoriaaz.gov


Adolfson & Peterson Construction’s “Green Fists of Fury”
www.a-p.com

Adolfson & Peterson Construction rules not with iron, but green fists.  The company’s green fists of fury, or Hulk hands, signify the company’s commitment to green practices.  Adolfson & Peterson encourages and pays for employees to become Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certified.  Once LEED certified, employees receive their own green fist to display with pride in their office.

The company also integrated a hybrid fleet of cars, recycling and carpooling or telecommuting programs into its daily operations.  Adolfson & Peterson established satellite offices in Buckeye and Tucson, Ariz., to cut down on employee commuting.  The company’s hybrid fleet of cars even boasts a Smart Car for employee use.  Through its recycling program, Adolfson & Peterson recycled more than 1,000 tons of construction waste in Arizona in 2009.

Adolfson & Peterson strives to reduce its own carbon footprint and the footprint of its clients.  The company built the first LEED Silver Certified high school in Arizona, currently has more than 30 LEED-certified or pending projects and has helped Arizona State University and Carl Hayden High School start green programs.

Arizona Business Magazine Jul/Aug 2010