Chris Clark: D.C. Fly-in Emphasizes Importance of Vote

Chris Clark

Monday, September 28th, 2020

Last week has been nothing short of extraordinary. From economic recovery and foreign affairs to health care, transportation, rural initiatives, agriculture and so much more, last week’s all-virtual Georgia Chamber D.C. Fly-In reported record attendance and conveyed a strong message that business and government can and must work together for a better future and more rapid recovery from the COVID recession. The conversations had over the last several days demonstrated the magnitude to which solid communication between government and business impacts a strong climate for economic growth.

Our members were updated by Congressman Buddy Carter and Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey on COVID vaccine timelines and why Americans must continue to practice good safety measures; after all, we are all now in the business of health and safety.

Across the board, and across the aisle, U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Congressmen Barry Loudermilk and David Scott discussed the bipartisan effort on the economy and continued job creation. U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, along with Congressmen Drew Ferguson and Hank Johnson, touched on the need for a long-term infrastructure investment plan that will connect not only our rural communities to supply chains and entrepreneurial growth opportunities, but also connect Georgia to advanced global commerce solutions, enhanced trade and business recruitment opportunities and more jobs on our shores. A national infrastructure and a state freight and logistics plan are critical for jump-starting the economy.

U.S. Sen. David Perdue provided a detailed understanding of Chinese business relations and what America can be doing to balance stateside strategic materials’ manufacturing. He also emphasized the need for a unified front on global economic sanctions and international cyberattacks. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, along with Congressmen Rick Allen, Sanford Bishop, Jody Hice, Austin Scott, U.S. Farm Bureau President Zippy Duval, and Georgia Farm Bureau President Gerald Long all discussed the COVID impact to our rural communities. They reinforced the need to be more responsive after disaster strikes, more involved in leveling the playing field for our farmers – those who feed the world – and onboard with streamlining the H-2A visa program to support agricultural industry labor needs.

Lt. Gen. Leslie Smith and Congressman Austin Scott gave an overview of the Department of Defense and our Georgia military installations, and, if all of that was not enough, Congressman Doug Collins rounded out the program discussing the work of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and the fundamental need for lawsuit reform.

Finding realistic solutions to all of these important issues requires not only bipartisanship but also the engagement of the business community in the development of policy and in the political process. The chamber has partnered with the Georgia Secretary of State’s office to recruit poll workers during this time of heightened health concern. We appreciate what Secretary Raffensperger is doing to ensure that we all have polling locations and information for absentee voting, and we want to do our part to secure the vote.

Here is what you and your business can do:

♦ The registration deadline for voting is Oct. 5. Whether in-person, by mail or online, you must be registered to vote by the beginning of next month.

♦ Early voting commences on Oct. 12 and runs through Oct. 30. Get in early and make your voice heard.

♦ Want to request an absentee ballot? Oct. 30 is the deadline for making that request.

♦ And, last but most important, the general election takes place on Nov. 3. Get out and vote, Georgia.

You can learn more at As business and government continue to work together identifying solutions and making plans for the future, it is incumbent upon all of us to shape our next steps and the steps of generations to come. Voting ensures that the leadership in office, the brainpower we witnessed during D.C. Fly-In, is acting in the best interest of those who elected them. Together, we can reimagine our future and move forward into a New Georgia Economy.