For the third time in recent years, the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) next week will be leading a group of more than 60 local mayors, CEOs and business and community leaders to Washington, D.C., to increase awareness of and advocate for critical economic development issues affecting Greater Phoenix and Arizona. Ten mayors will be among this year’s record-breaking attendance for GPEC’s biennial trip to the nation’s capital.
During their three days in Washington, the delegation will participate in high-level meetings with federal lawmakers, association heads and agency leaders. GPEC has organized the meetings to further its efforts in four targeted areas: Aerospace and Defense; Emerging Technology; International; and Energy.
“Our D.C. trips are important for strengthening the relationship between Arizona’s Congressional delegation and the business community back home,” said Barry Broome, president and CEO of GPEC. “With the number of executives and mayors we’re bringing this year, as well as the immigration panel we’ve put in place, I’m confident this year’s trip is going to yield real results for Arizona.”
The trip will culminate with a luncheon and panel discussion on immigration reform and Arizona’s role in the debate. The discussion, called “Arizona Talks Immigration,” will be moderated by Susan Page, USA Today’s Washington bureau chief at the National Press Club on Wednesday, April 24.
“Given the timeliness of the U.S. Senate’s immigration reform proposal, we have a real opportunity to spotlight the proactive work Arizona has accomplished on this issue – especially by groups like The Real Arizona Coalition – and change minds about Arizona’s reputation and brand,” Broome continued.
The panel, hosted by Avondale Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers and Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, will consist of the following local and national leaders:
- Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09)
- Rep. Raul Labrador (ID-01)
- Former Rep. John Shadegg (AZ-03)
- Clarissa Castro, National Council of La Raza
- Daniel Garza, The Libre Initiative
- Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County Attorney and Real Arizona Coalition Member
- Frank Sharry, America’s Voice
- Ben Johnson, American Immigration Council
On Tuesday, April 23, GPEC will host a reception honoring Arizona’s congressional delegation, including Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake and the state’s nine Members of Congress.