Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Greetings from Washington

About 70 local business and community leaders are in Washington, D.C., this week for the annual Washington Legislative Action Mission, organized by the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce. Here are two reports e-mailed from participants on Monday’s happenings:

From Steve Recca, director of the Center for Homeland Security at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs:

The chamber has arranged a terrific opportunity to meet and engage with the Colorado congressional delegation and relevant agencies in the Washington area. So far, so good – just keep the coffee comin’!

One of the afternoon presenters was Dave Sprenger from CU’s Office of Government Affairs. Dave briefed our group on CU’s federal budget agenda and legislative priorities. His office has been on the front lines of several successful efforts to fund important education and research initiatives at CU (and UCCS, in particular) that truly have had – and continue to have – national impact. In the past four years, roughly $15 million dollars of directed funding has gone to UCCS for long-term programs in homeland defense and K-12 science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

From Brian Binn, president of the chamber’s military affairs division:

Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard addressed the chamber’s contingent of community leaders, reaffirming his support for legislation proposing a National Veteran’s Cemetery in the Pikes Peak region. Although there are several hurdles that still need to be overcome at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, the support of our Colorado legislators is most welcome. Sen. Allard also stated his continued support for the growth and funding of the missile defense mission and its importance to our region.

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