Get Engaged, Be Informed

By Andrea H. Reay
Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce

As a Chamber, we pride ourselves on both creating opportunities to engage with our local policymakers and community leaders as well as providing information about the issues that matter most. We don’t currently endorse candidates or initiatives, but we do provide platforms and resources to share information and connect those candidates and initiatives to the voting public.

Connections and relationships are important in business and politics. Sometimes it’s hard to see or hear the story behind an issue or initiative. Being able to gather together, to learn from one another and grow as individuals and communities, ensures we will continue to have a strong, engaged and informed government.

A lot has changed in our country throughout the years, but as Abraham Lincoln once said:

“If given the truth, [the people] can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”

On Wednesday, Sept. 25, the Chamber will host our 31st Government Affairs Reception and Candidates Night, which will be an opportunity to both receive truth and beer—or any beverage of your choice.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as we approach the general elections this November:

  1. Seek out the truth. Depending on the issue, or the candidate, this may be challenging. It’s important to fact check and research sources. The PDC (Public Disclosure Commission) is a great, unbiased resource to begin researching candidates and campaigns.
  1. Follow the money. Running campaigns is expensive and most candidates are not self-funded they rely on donations and endorsements to pay for everything from websites to mailers and signs. Candidates must report their endorsements, donations, and expenses. All of that information is available on the PDC website. Knowing who and what individuals and entities are funding campaigns will say a lot about the individual candidate and campaign, often more than their publicized platform.
  1. Connect directly. Candidates and politicians are often eager and responsive to questions from their constituents and potential voters. When some local elections are decided with just a few votes, every connection and vote matters. If you can, try to attend events and forums in person. If you can’t, reach out with a phone call or email to ask your questions. Want to know how a candidate is likely to vote on one issue or another? The best way to find out is to simply ask.

We’ll be asking a lot of questions to our candidates running for office at our event. Do you have a question you think we should ask? Email them to me at For more information about our event, please visit our website:

Being an engaged and informed voter takes a lot of time, resources, and energy and is an enormous responsibility. However, it is also immensely rewarding. Thank you for taking the time and thank you for being part of our community. We really are better and stronger together.

This article was written by Andrea H. Reay, the President/CEO of Seattle Southside Chamber of Commerce, “A voice for business, a leader in the community.” Seattle Southside Chamber has served the communities of Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, SeaTac, and Tukwila since 1988. For more information about the Chamber, including a full list of member benefits and resources, please visit their website at