To develop and advance our regional agenda, we identify issues that can be best addressed collectively, and prioritize them based on our available resources and the ability to make a positive impact. We then study best practices and develop a deeper understanding of the challenge, to recommend effective policy solutions and advocate for change.
Much of this activity takes place within the structure of working groups and task forces comprised of investors with a passion for these issues.
In 2016, we began an extensive planning process to help us identify our current regional priorities. Throughout this six-month period, we held nearly 50 individual interviews with Tampa Bay’s top business leaders. We partnered with the Florida Chamber Foundation to attract more than 500 participants to community town halls in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Polk, Pinellas and Sarasota counties. We met with county and municipal leaders, economic development organizations and chambers of commerce throughout the region.
Finally, our Council of Governors gathered together to review the feedback we received and make some big decisions about where to our focus our efforts.
The issue of greatest concern was transportation.