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The Grassroots Alliance Has Arrived in Olympia 
AWB's Grassroots Alliance made their voices heard at the Legislative Day and Hill Climb. From left, Kristin Kemak, Dru Garson, Erica Dial, Kelly Harris Coughlin and Jennifer Liggett represented their local chambers of commerce at Tuesday's event.
AWB's Grassroots Alliance showed up in force at Tuesday's Legislative Day and Hill Climb.

Local chamber of commerce leaders came to Olympia for a day of networking and face-to-face meetings with legislators. Their energy and enthusiasm brought local economic development concerns directly to the state's top political leaders. It's a perfect example of how AWB's Grassroots Alliance can help share the positive story of Washington employers with lawmakers.

The delegation included Dru Garson, CEO of Greater Grays Harbor; Jennifer Liggett, executive director of the Covington Chamber of Commerce; Erica Dial, CEO of the Maple Valley-Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce; Kristin Kemak, president and CEO of the Lewis Clark Valley Chamber of Commerce; Kelly Harris Coughlin, executive director of the SnoValley Chamber of Commerce.; and Cara Coon from Greater Spokane, Inc.

Kemak explained why her chamber joined the alliance.

"Being from Southeastern Washington, it was important to us to feel like we had a greater connection with Olympia and the western side of the state, and so being a part of AWB allowed that to happen," she said.

Kemak joined AWB President Kris Johnson and the AWB Institute for a board meeting Tuesday morning. Coon and others attended a lunch discussion with the Legislature's top budget writers. And Liggett, Dial and Coughlin met with State Rep. Bill Ramos, D-Issaquah, among other lawmakers.

Liggett visited four legislative offices Tuesday.

"Going into this session I have a need to know more about child care issues, and how that impacts our Covington community," she said. …"In addition to that we have a huge transportation issue in our state."

Dial said she appreciates the connection between her chamber and AWB.

"We don’t have a government affairs committee," Dial said. "So this information that comes from Grassroots really is a great opportunity for me to go out and get that information to our members, and really feel like we know what we're talking about, have that support, and really get our members informed on the issues that are affecting their business."

Tuesday's event ended with an elegant reception in the Capitol Rotunda. Lawmakers, state officials and the Grassroots Alliance shared refreshments while a string quartet played in the background.

We'll see you at the next event. To learn more or get involved, please contact Andrew Lenderman at

Kristin Kemak, president and CEO of the Lewis Clark Valley Chamber of Commerce, speaks with AWB President Kris Johnson Tuesday morning during an AWB Institute board meeting.
State Rep. Bill Ramos, D-Issaquah, meets with AWB Grassroots Alliance members Kelly Harris Coughlin, Jennifer Liggett and Erica Dial.
Tanya Neilsen of Thrive Fitness, left, and Jennifer Liggett of the Covington Chamber of Commerce met with State Sen. Karen Keiser, chair of the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee, and State Rep. Gina Mosbrucker, R-Goldendale.
Michelle Hege of DH, left, State Rep. Marcus Riccelli, D-Spokane, and Cara Coon of Greater Spokane, Inc., pose for a photo.
House Passes Low-Carbon Fuel Standard
The House of Representatives passed House Bill 1110 on Wednesday night on a 52-44 vote.

The measure would raise the price of fuel significantly while providing relatively minor reductions in greenhouse gases. Additionally, it provides no money to improve Washington's infrastructure.

The measure now heads to the Senate. 

The passage of House Bill 1110 is just one example of how fast things can change in Olympia. Be sure to check out our latest edition of AWB Amplified and our Olympia Business Watch blog for more details.

To learn more about the issues that impact your community, please don't hesitate to reach out to AWB Vice President of Government Affairs Gary Chandler at or 360.943.1600.

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Need help or have questions? Please contact Communications Specialist Andrew Lenderman at 360.943.1600 or 
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