Strengthening Your Voice in the Black Hills

June 25, 2020

Written By: Anna Hays

Posted In: Advocacy, Elevate Magazine

Life as a resident of the Black Hills region is not one to be taken for granted. It is an ideal balance of a tight-knit community with an attitude of independence. These combined factors have strongly contributed to the region’s ability to avoid the “boom-and-bust” fate of so many communities. For years the area has flown under the radar as Sioux Falls and surrounding metros have taken the lead in economic growth. 

As the region begins to grow, Elevate Rapid City is committed to leading the state in smart, quality economic development. This is the time to chart the course for a level playing field and advocate for policies and ideas that support the unique way of life in the Black Hills, while also building a runway for advancement. 

But what does that look like? What does that mean for you? 

When you go to the polls, you are not simply voting for the name you recognize. You’re choosing someone to represent your interests and to make good decisions on your behalf. Elevate also plays a strong role with a full-time lobbyist present throughout each legislative session. This leads to direct relationship-building with policymakers and ensures someone dedicated to your cause is speaking out for bills that may harm the local business community.

Business growth in Rapid City means more jobs and opportunities for students as they graduate and want to stay here. It means more revenue to improve parks and roads, it means more doctors and quality health care. Take tourism for example: The strength of that industry alone means you paid $890 less in state taxes in 2019 due to visitor spending. 

Elevate is stepping out from the sideline when it comes the political actions of our state and establishing Rapid City as a community supporting proactive leaders of good policy. But we cannot do this alone. The business community must engage in the process. Elevate relies on the feedback of investors and the business community at large to speak out about resources, ideas, and the struggles they experience in order to drive this change. Having a voice for business directly in Pierre is a powerful tool of both persuasion and protection. 

You have power to influence the future economic development of the Black Hills region. Your vote, your voice, and your ideas are needed. If you want to ensure a vibrant community for generations to come, you cannot stay on the sidelines. Get engaged with Elevate Rapid City and learn more about the work being done to ensure quality growth for the region.