Priscilla Camacho, Senior Vice President, Public Policy
Whether it’s local housing issues, the future of the state’s public school funding system, or the impact of the federal government shutdown, the need for a strong advocacy team and strategy is critical to ensure continued success and new gains for the Dallas Region. That is why the Dallas Regional Chamber’s strategic plan incorporates a strong public policy focus at all levels of government. The DRC’s Public Policy team advocates on behalf of our members for pro-growth, pro-business policies that help Dallas and the North Texas region remain the best place to live, work, and do business. Our policy agenda covers issues related to economic development, education, transportation, workforce development, and health care.
To achieve our policy goals, we educate and engage with elected officials and staff at the local, state and federal levels. This includes clearly and assertively promoting our agenda before the Dallas City Council, Dallas County Commissioners Court, Texas Legislature, and U.S. Congress on issues that matter most to businesses. In 2019, our team’s focus is on the 86th Texas Legislative session ensuring pro-growth legislation makes its way to the Governor’s desk. A few key priorities for the DRC this legislative session include:
- creation of a well-funded and sustainable public school funding system;
- preservation of our economic development tools, such as CH312 of the Tax Code;
- continued investment and tools to maintain our state’s infrastructure needs;
- promoting policies that support a healthy workforce; and
- increased research funding for our institutions of higher education.
Our program of work also includes opportunities for member engagement. On an annual basis our team will host various events that brings business leaders together with elected and agency officials. These events include our Legislative Power Hours, State of the City, State of the State, DRC Day at the Texas Capitol, DC Fly-In, and Congressional Forum. Additionally, our councils and committees are instrumental in developing the DRC’s policy agenda. Our Public Policy Advisory Council (PPAC), chaired by Steve Good, Partner at Foley Gardere LLP, allows our members to stay up-to-date and discuss various policy issues affecting the business community and North Texas region. The Infrastructure Task Force, chaired by Wendy Lopez, PE, FASCE, SVP, Central Region at AECOM, brings together professionals in the industries of transportation, water, energy, and environmental policy. These teams of volunteers are instrumental in developing the DRC’s policy agenda. Our Health System CEO Council is comprised of regional health systems leaders focused on developing strategies for the health and well-being of North Texans.
But policy wasn’t all we focused on in 2018 or solely what we will focus on in the future. Business leaders across the region came together after the 2017 legislative session to focus on improving voter turnout and engagement. Spearheaded by our Political Engagement Task Force that was chaired by Scott Orr, VP, Public Affairs at Fidelity in 2018, we were proud to push our voter engagement efforts to the next level with the launch of NorthTexasVotes.org. This site provides voters with information on how to register to vote, where to vote, who is on the ballot, and where candidates stand on issues important to the DRC. As we move this effort forward, we will continue to explore ways we can help educate our businesses and their employees on the importance of voting.
In summary, the Public Policy team is your resource for:
- information on current public policy issues;
- learning about the Texas Legislature and legislative process;
- determining ways in which members can support DRC initiatives;
- identifying local-, state-, and federal-elected and appointed officials; and
- getting involved with DRC committees and councils.
We are honored to be your advocate on so many critical issues for our region. We encourage you to reach out to our team and find out how you can get involved in advocating for and with the North Texas business community.
Meet the Team
Priscilla Camacho, JD
Senior Vice President
- Focus: Oversees and leads the Public Policy team at all levels of government, with a focus on state legislative issues
- Fun Fact: I was a drum major in my high school band.
Elisa Hernández, MPH
- Focus: Local and county policy; health care
- Fun Fact: I was Athlete of the Year in eighth grade.
- Focus: Federal policy and public policy events
- Fun Fact: I’m in the movie “Pitch Perfect 2.”
What talent does your team master?
Team mind-reading and our Bitmoji game is on point.