Savannah Downtown Business Association
Savannah Downtown Business Association


ADVOCACY MINUTE



The SDBA pushed for reforms to the pardon and parole process and urged elected officials to make important changes to ensure dangerous criminals are kept off our streets. Through numerous letters and the advocacy of State Representative Jesse Petrea, many of these reforms have been included in the Governors criminal justice reform bill. The full text can be found here .  


In addition, the Savannah Downtown Business Association are working on the below items for 2017:


PUBLIC SAFETY


The SDBA will continue to advocate for more resources that include man power and technology to help our officers in the field- including more cameras, upgraded radio software and CAD’s (computer aided dispatch). We will also continue to work with our DA and our elected officials to ensure we have legislation in place to keep violent offenders and guns off our streets.

The DBA has been instrumental in pushing for a continued merged police force that we believe better enables the SCMPD to keep our streets safe. 

The Savannah Downtown Business Association has been following with great interest a piece of legislation that will dramatically improve public safety in our community by correcting some major oversight issues with the pardon and parole process in our State. We believe HB 34, The Parole Reform and Transparency Act, will address and resolve some of the issues that have been plaguing this communiyt. We have formally voiced our support of the HB 34 and continue to work with our State Representative to get the important legislation passed.


 Workforce Development and Retention


We have heard from our members that we still have some work to do to fill our pipeline with qualified ready to work individuals with the skill sets necessary to meet the challenges of today’s business climate. We believe that educating our citizens and matching skill with opportunity will drive economic growth, help move the poverty needle and ultimately help fight some of the root causes of crime. We continue to expand our partnerships and support programs that address this need. This month we will welcome a speaker to talk about developing leaders and the skills necessary to turn customer service into a profit making venture.


Broadband


The former Chairman of the FCC- said “Making sure our cities have super-fast, high-capacity, ubiquitous broadband networks delivering speeds measured in gigabits, not megabits isn’t just a matter of consumer convenience, as important as that is. It’s essential to economic growth, job creation and U.S. competitiveness.”

 We believe that if we want to compete for high-tech, brain based businesses, be a real player in the film industry and provide a platform to keep our young people here- we need to get on board with a comprehensive broad band plan- that is affordable for ALL businesses. Our broad band infrastructure is the central platform for innovation. We continue to work with City leadership on a solution that will future proof our City.

 Business Property Tax


This issue continues to plague our downtown businesses and is one we beleive will spread to other parts of the County if we don’t put protections in place. We continue to work on this issue with our delegation in Atlanta. As new development continues in our City and properties are re-assesed using the new income based formulas- we want to ensure our businesses, especially our small businesses, are protected from excessive hikes in property taxes.


 Commercial Recycling


We believe that if we work together as a business community we can come up with a plan, that helps reduce our waste, reduce our cost and help save the planet at the same time. This is a new initiative for us this year, and we look forward to working with all of you and our City and County to improve our recycling options in Savannah.




Savannah Downtown Business Association
P.O. Box 9221, Savannah, GA 31412

(912) 660-4718


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