Many organizations first become involved in legislative activities as the result of the introduction of a specific issue that significantly impacts an industry. The most influential lobbying efforts are achieved by organizations that have established a long-term presence in the legislature. Ongoing governmental affairs programs are essential in order to develop trusted relationships with key decision makers. This is why, for several years now, the Northwestern Water & Sewer District has been an active member of the Coalition of Ohio Regional Districts (CORD), an association of the regional “6119” districts in the state.
Among many positions within CORD, I spent a substantial amount of time as the President of CORD’s Board of Directors. CORD was established specifically to represent 6119 districts on issues before the Ohio General Assembly and the state regulatory agencies. From its inception, CORD has retained Governmental Policy Group (GPG), a government relations firm, to represent it before the members of the General Assembly.
Recently, CORD has formally teamed with the Ohio Rural Water Association (ORWA) and both groups have jointly retained GPG to coordinate their government relations efforts. Often, policy proposals similarly impact both groups and by joining their lobbying resources CORD and ORWA will be able to increase their presence at the capitol and improve their government affairs efforts, and do so in a more cost-effective and efficient manner.
The arrangement will save CORD money and enhance the legislative presence of CORD and ORWA. Coordinating the communication, policy actions and testimony among GPG, CORD and ORWA is Eric Luckage of the law firm Albers and Albers in Columbus. Albers represents many local governments around the state and has formed over 30 “6119” districts. Luckage has previously worked in the Ohio Senate and with USDA Rural Development.
Governmental Policy Group is one of Ohio’s premier legislative and regulatory consulting firms. In addition to offering high quality representation in front of Ohio’s policy makers, Governmental Policy Group offers a full range of services designed to bring CORD and ORWA members directly into the legislative process. Their proven capability enables our groups to effectively advocate for issues benefitting our members, while also help defeat policy proposals that would negatively impact the industry.
The joint CORD/ORWA relationship with GPG is exciting and we look forward to many successes.