{{CFirstName}}, you are receiving this e-newsletter because you have shown interest in public policy issues. Contact us if you don't want to receive future issues.

Volume 6, Issue 34, Jan 8, 2024
 Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, Eau Claire, Wis.
Usually published the first business day of each week
(The next issue will be Tuesday, January 16)
Business Advocate Past Issues
Public Meetings Calendar
Chamber Events Calendar
The Chamber's Advocacy Principles
The Chamber's 2024 Business Issues Agenda
"Talking Po!nt" Podcast
Contact: Scott Rogers, VP Governmental Affairs


Eggs & Issues: The State of Eau Claire County
The Chamber's annual 'State of the County' address, led by Eau Claire County Board Chair Nancy Coffey and County Administrator Kathryn Schauf. Hear the highlights of Eau Claire County's work over the past year, its priorities for 2024, and key partnerships that are critical to the County's effectiveness. Then we'll take a deeper dive into innovative work the County is undertaking to provide intervention for people undergoing crisis before needing to involve law enforcement and hospitals. Learn how the County and key partners are piloting innovative, research-based, collaborative approaches.
 • Friday, Jan 19, 7:00-8:30 a.m., CVTC Business Education Center
    Click here for details and to register

"Eau What A Night" - The Chamber's 109th Annual Meeting
 • Wednesday, Jan 24, 4:30-9:30 p.m., Pablo Center at the Confluence
    Click here for details and to register

Making a Difference: State and Federal Government
This informative session will concentrate on the state and federal government. Find out what decisions get made in Madison and Washington, and what they mean to you. A "Pints & Politics" program presented by the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association, REALTORS® Association of Northwest Wisconsin, and Young Professionals of the Chippewa Valley.
 • Tuesday, Jan 30, 3:30-5:30 p.m., Chamber Offices
    Click here for details and to register

30th Annual Chippewa Valley Rally
Bringing the Chippewa Valley's voice to Madison. Organized by the Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, and Menomonie Chambers of Commerce. After a very productive 2023, we'll be back in Madison to thank policymakers for key wins, remind them of unresolved issues, and build relationships. Click here for an update on the status of 2023 Rally Issues
 • Wednesday, Feb 28, Madison
    Click here for details and to register

National Civics Bee: Middle school essay deadline Jan 22

   Area 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students are eligible to participate in Wisconsin's first-ever competition for the National Civics Bee, a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce foundation. The first step is to submit an essay by January 22 (new extended deadline). Click the link below for details:
National Civics Bee information (Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce)

Chamber Business Hours: Mon-Thu 7:30a-5p, Friday 8a-2p  Lobby Hours: Mon-Fri 10a-2p

In this issue:
 • Ballots set for local races in April 2 nonpartisan election
 • Chamber adopts 2024 Business Issues Agenda
 • Chippewa County postpones action on refugee resolution
 • State and regional stories
• National and economic stories
 • Food for thought
 • Mark your calendar
Note on article links: A subscription is required for those marked with "$"
Publications known to have article limits for non-subscribers are marked with "+"


Ballots set for local races in April 2 election
17 of 29 EC County Board races contested
   With the filing deadline of January 2 now passed, candidates are set for local, nonpartisan elections in Wisconsin. Local offices to be elected include all 29 Eau Claire County Board seats, and varying numbers of board and council seats in local municipalities and school districts.

   In the City of Eau Claire, the five district council seats are up for election, with incumbent members Jill Christopherson and Jeremy Gragert not running for reelection. Only two of the five seats are contested. In the City of Altoona, Mayor Brendan Pratt is unopposed for reelection to a three-year term. On the Eau Claire County Board, 17 of the 29 seats are contested, with six incumbents not seeking reelection. Both the Altoona and Eau Claire School Boards have contested elections. However, none of these races will require a primary, which is only necessary when there are more than two candidates for the number of positions available.
   The April 2 election will also feature a Presidential Preference primary. Other partisan offices in Wisconsin are elected in November, with the primary for the fall election to be held on August 13.
   The Chamber does not endorse candidates for public office. As the election gets closer, the Chamber will provide resources for voter education. Click the links below for more details about candidates who have filed:
More information:
Local candidates on the Spring election ballot (Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce)

Newcomers Will Contend for Seats on E.C. City Council (Volume One)
Representative roundup: Eau Claire County and City candidates confirmed (Leader-Telegram $)
Eau Claire County Board Candidates by District (Eau Claire County)
ECASD announces school board candidates (WEAU 13 News)
'We have exactly three months for this to play out': Candidates set for local elections (WQOW News 18)
Chippewa County Board Chairman Gullickson, one-third of board, not seeking re-election (Leader-Telegram $)
7 candidates, including Donald Trump, approved for Wisconsin's presidential primary (WPR)
Committee sets Wisconsin's ballot for April presidential primary (Channel 3000)

CVTC seeks board applicants 
   Applications are being accepted for three positions on the Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) Board of Trustees. Successful candidates will serve a three-year term beginning July 1, 2024. Open positions include one member who is an employer, one member who is an employee, and one member who is a school district administrator. All candidates must meet a number of requirements in order to be eligible for Wisconsin Technical College System district board membership. Applications are due by 4 p.m. Monday, February 12.
   For more information or to request an application, contact Lauren Sullivan at 715-833-6500, lsullivan9@cvtc.edu, or go to www.cvtc.edu/boardappointment.   

Chamber adopts 2024 Business Issues Agenda
   At its December 19 meeting, the Board of Directors of the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce adopted its 2024 Business Issues Agenda. In light of its mission as "The Advocate of Business," the purpose of an annual Business Issues Agenda is to set forth the Chamber's philosophy on the most important economic issues for our community, plus the Chamber's position on specific governmental policies that affect or address those issues.
   As the new year begins, the Chamber will share the agenda with policymakers at all levels of government, and its staff will use it as a guide as government bodies consider actions that are addressed in the agenda. Topics covered in the agenda include free enterprise, stewardship of public resources, regulations, workforce development, housing supply and affordability, education, economic development, tourism, transportation and infrastructure, healthcare, energy and the environment, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Click the link below to read the full agenda. If you have questions about the agenda, contact Scott Rogers, VP Governmental Affairs rogers@eauclairechamber.org
More information:
The Chamber's Advocacy Principles
2024 Business Issues Agenda

Chippewa County postpones vote on refugee resolution
   The Chippewa County Board's Executive Committee last Tuesday postponed action on a potential resolution related to refugee relocation in the Eau Claire region.
   The refugee issue was covered extensively in last week's edition of the Business Advocate. Click this link for details and scroll to the first news story, "EC County Board defeats refugee resolution 18-9." The Chamber supports refugee resettlement and opposed the resolution that was considered by the Eau Claire County Board.
More information:
Jan 2 Eau Claire Chamber Business Advocate (Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, scroll down for refugee information)
Chippewa County Board postpones vote on resolution calling for refugee moratorium (Leader-Telegram $)
Immigration, refugees are the top story of 2023 (Leader-Telegram $)

Meeting this week...

Eau Claire City Council
 • Monday, Jan 8, 7 p.m. Public Hearing
 • Tuesday, Jan 9, 4 p.m. Legislative Session
    2024 Budget website (City of Eau Claire)
    Link to videos of city meetings (City of Eau Claire)
    City Council Online Comment Form (City of Eau Claire)
    Contact information: City Council members (City of Eau Claire)
Service Request Form - Neighborhood Services Division (City of Eau Claire)
Getting to know Eau Claire's Neighborhood Services Division (Leader-Telegram $)
Our View: Neighborhood Services Division has potential (Leader-Telegram Editorial $)

Eau Claire Board of Education
 • Monday, Jan 8, 7 p.m. Meeting and agenda info.
ECASD votes on Nov election for operation referendum, amount to be decided
(Leader-Telegram $)

Housing Opportunities Commission
 • Wednesday, Jan 10, 5 p.m., City Hall, Agenda Packet

Altoona City Council
 • Thursday, Jan 11, 6 p.m. Links to agenda and info

More local stories...

Visit Eau Claire website visits up over 26% in 2023
(Visit Eau Claire)

Eau Claire South YMCA opens with the New Year
(Leader-Telegram $)


State and regional stories...

Buckle up: 2024 is sure to be a wild time in Wisconsin politics
(The Cap Times)

Redistricting, RNC and congressional races: 9 Wisconsin political storylines for 2024
(Journal-Sentinel +)

Political Update: Governor Signs Brewers Stadium Package and 45 Other Bills, Vetoes Six; and more
(Hamilton Consulting)

Republicans likely to take Wisconsin gerrymandering case back to the U.S. Supreme Court
(Journal-Sentinel +)

Who are the 2 referees the Wisconsin Supreme Court named to review new maps?
(Wisconsin State Journal +)

Court rules absentee ballots with minor problems OK to count

Chickens could be kept in every Wisconsin community under new bill

Wisconsin economy, down for past three quarters, among top 20 fastest growing in Q3

'Can AI detect fake news?' a UW-Stout professor's groundbreaking research asks
(Leader-Telegram $)

Plans for replacing old Macy’s with restaurants at Valley View Mall to go before city committees this week

Possible Revival For Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee Commuter Rail Line
(Urban Milwaukee)

Latest episode...
"Talking Po!nt" podcast
The importance of advocating in Madison
   Decisions made in Madison have a big impact on the economy of the Chippewa Valley. In this episode, moderator Creative Director Chelsea Seckora talks to Eau Claire Chamber President & CEO Dave Minor and VP Governmental Affairs Scott Rogers about the ways we can work together to influence state policymakers. Hear details on how you can participate in the upcoming Chippewa Valley Rally.

Recorded in the WIN Technology Studio. Media sponsor Royal Credit Union. Click below to listen:
Talking Point Podcast Ep 3, "The importance of advocating in Madison" (32:24)

Click here for information on the 29th Annual Chippewa Valley Rally (Chippewa Valley Chamber Alliance)
Science and Health Sciences Building construction to begin in summer (UWEC)


National and economic stories...

Job openings nudged down in November, down to lowest in more than two years

Fed Minutes Suggest Rate Hikes Are Over, but Offer No Timetable on Cuts
(Wall Street Journal $)

Centrist Democrats target Boebert and Van Orden in 2024

Boebert still faces fight after district switch (Roll Call)

Rep. Van Orden weighs in on Colorado Supreme Court ruling
(WEAU 13 News)

‘Certain things require a machete’: House China Committee chair Gallagher defends approach to Beijing

No Labels’ Lieberman: ‘I’ve never seen this much anger at the two major parties’
(The Hill)

Harvard president resigns after antisemitism hearing and plagiarism probe

Two Years In, How Quickly Is IIJA Funding Being Put to Work?
(ENO Center)

The 24 dates to watch in 2024

Food for thought...

The Flip Side: Both sides of important issues
(The Flip Side, daily digest)

Would Ranked Choice Voting Enhance Democracy?
(Bruce Thompson, Urban Milwaukee)

South Dakota’s secret recipe for success is economic freedom. More states should take notice.
(William Ruger and Jason Sorens, Cato Institute)

South Dakota has a very low combined state and local tax burden (7.4 percent of income), and, of course, no state income tax. In most years, local governments collect more tax revenue than state government does. That makes it easier for citizens to choose a city or county that provides the right mix of services relative to taxes.

COVID-19 Resources:
Eau Claire County COVID-19 Information Hub (Eau Claire City-County Health Department)

Mark your calendar:

Eggs & Issues: The State of Eau Claire County

 • Friday, Jan 19

Eau What A Night: The Chamber's 109th Annual Meeting
 • Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Making a Difference: State and Federal Government

 • Tuesday, Jan 30

Workforce Solutions Summit
• Tuesday, Feb 20, 2024 (Rescheduled)

30th Annual Chippewa Valley Rally
 • Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024

Chamber Royale
 • Thursday, May 16, 2024

Golf Day in Eau Claire
 • Monday, Aug 5, 2024

"Bravo to Business" Awards
 • Thursday, Oct 17, 2024

Public Meetings Calendar
Click the link above for the our regularly updated schedule of public meetings.

Thanks for reading this issue of Business Advocate.
If you have comments or questions, contact Scott Rogers, Vice President G
overnmental Affairs, at 715-858-0616 or rogers@eauclairechamber.org

This email was sent on behalf of {{TCDisplayName}} located at {{TCADDRAddress1}}{{TCADDRAddress2}}{{TCADDRCity}}{{TCADDRStateProvince}} {{TCADDRPostalCode}}To unsubscribe click here. If you have questions or comments concerning this email contact {{TCDisplayName}} at {{TCEmailAddress}}.