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Lobbying is the practice of using advocates to explain our needs and positions to state legislators and Congressional representatives to make them aware of how current or potential legislation affects our operations and our residents. To accomplish our goals in a cost-effective manner, Gwinnett County dedicates a staff member to work with our legislators on the state and federal levels regarding legislative policy issues. The County’s legislative liaison provides an annual update to the Board of Commissioners about significant activity that occurred during the previous legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly. View the most recent General Assembly presentation (PDF).
In addition, Gwinnett County is a member of various state and national organizations that provide such services for not only Gwinnett County, but governments and organizations throughout Georgia and the United States. The links below will take you to the websites of organizations that currently lobby on behalf of Gwinnett County and other governmental organizations.
Association County Commissioners of Georgia
From the ACCG website: The Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) is a nonprofit instrumentality of Georgia’s county governments that serves as the consensus building, training, and legislative organization for all 159 county governments in the state. With this primary charge, ACCG works to ensure that the counties can provide the necessary leadership, services and programs to meet the health, safety and welfare needs of their citizens.
Georgia’s county governments constitute the direct membership of ACCG. This encompasses 159 counties represented by more than 810 county commissioners. The association’s constituency also includes 400 appointed county clerks, managers, administrators, and attorneys and more than 80,000 full-time and part-time employees. Non-governmental entities, including private businesses and corporations, may also participate in many of ACCG’s activities as Associate Members.
ACCG uses a well-defined policy development process to build consensus among county officials on legislative issues. Policy recommendations are developed through the work of seven policy committees comprised of county elected and appointed officials. These recommendations are developed into the county platform. Counties are provided an opportunity to review the county platform and provide feedback to the ACCG Policy Council, made up of the executive committee of the ACCG Board of Managers and the policy committee chairs and vice-chairs. The policy council develops the final county platform and presents it for a vote to the counties at the annual Legislative Leadership Conference. Working with the ACCG Board of Managers, the association also develops a county agenda, which outlines legislative priorities. Both the county platform and county agenda are developed to coincide with the biennial session of the Georgia General Assembly.
While the Georgia General Assembly is in session, ACCG hosts weekly legislative updates that outline top legislative issues and summarize new and progressing legislation. ACCG tracks federal legislation under consideration by the U.S. Congress as well as significant regulatory considerations proposed by federal agencies and provides notification to counties as needed to encourage support or opposition.
ACCG recognizes that legislative advocacy is a year-round commitment and encourages county officials to build relationships with their state and federal legislators. Likewise, ACCG remains actively engaged by monitoring and testifying at legislative study committees, meeting one-on-one with legislators and state and federal officials, developing policy, and assisting county legislative outreach efforts.
Atlanta Regional Commission
From the ARC website: The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the regional planning and intergovernmental coordination agency for the 10-county area including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties, as well as the City of Atlanta. For 60 years, ARC and its predecessor agencies have helped to focus the region's leadership, attention and resources on key issues of regional consequence.
ARC is dedicated to unifying the region's collective resources to prepare the metropolitan area for a prosperous future. It does so through professional planning initiatives, the provision of objective information and the involvement of the community in collaborative partnerships.
Government Finance Officers Association
From the GFOA website: The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) is the professional association of state/provincial and local finance officers in the United States and Canada, and has served the public finance profession since 1906. GFOA members are dedicated to the sound management of government financial resources.
With nearly 17,400 members, the GFOA has experienced a steady growth in the past 10 years, adding more than 5,000 finance professionals to our organization. The GFOA continues to provide leadership to the government finance profession through research, education, and recommended practices.
International City/County Management Association
From the ICMA website: ICMA, the International City/County Management Association, develops and advances professional local government management to create sustainable communities that improve lives worldwide. ICMA provides member support; publications; data and information; peer and results-oriented assistance; and training and professional development to nearly 9,000 city, town, and county experts and other individuals and organizations throughout the world. The management decisions made by ICMA's members affect millions of individuals living in thousands of communities, from small villages and towns to large metropolitan areas.
ICMA’s public policy role is to advance good governance by identifying long-term trends and issues affecting local governments. ICMA prepares white papers on current issues to inform the national policy debate. Working with state and national organizations that represent cities and counties, ICMA brings its professional management voice into national policy debates, regulatory matters, and in problem-solving discussions with federal agency leaders. ICMA takes positions on public policy issues and signs amicus briefs prepared by the State and Local Legal Center that support important federalism principles.
National Association of Counties
From the NACo website: The National Association of Counties (NACo) is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States. Founded in 1935, NACo provides essential services to the nation’s 3,068 counties. NACo advances issues with a unified voice before the federal government, improves the public’s understanding of county government, assists counties in finding and sharing innovative solutions through education and research, and provides value-added services to save counties and taxpayers money.
With its headquarters on Capitol Hill, NACo is a full-service organization that delivers its services through its dedicated and skilled staff who comprise the following departments: Executive Office, Legislative Affairs, Public Affairs, County Services, Information Technology, Financial Service Center and Finance and Administration.