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  • As a proud Member and Partner of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, your membership works hard every day to ensure that your business and our community thrive. You believe not only in progress, but also in the bottom-line benefits of connecting to the region’s most impactful business circle for networking, resources and relationships.  

  • Strong Schools Lead to Strong Communities: Montgomery Chamber Unites Montgomery and Pike Road Leaders to Share a Collective Voice for Education

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    Montgomery, AL, March 1, 2024 — Recently, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a pivotal media event, underscoring the critical significance of the upcoming 3.5 county tax millage renewal vote for education. This media event brought together influential leaders from both the public and private sectors in Montgomery and Pike Road, emphasizing the urgency of voting in favor of the renewal on March 5, 2024. Their unified stance underscores the shared belief that investing in education is an investment in our collective future.

    These funds are pivotal in supporting essential resources such as teacher units, extracurricular activities, athletics, facility maintenance, professional development, security, and transportation needs in Pike Road and Montgomery public schools. Simply stated, the March 5 renewal vote directly impacts the future of education in Montgomery County. The 3.5 county tax millage has been an integral part of our community for four decades, generating an estimated $11 million annually for Montgomery Public Schools (MPS) and $1.2M for the Pike Road Schools (PRS). This is not a new tax! It was first approved in 1984 and last renewed two decades ago, showing its enduring commitment to education. 

    Education is vital to a strong workforce in every community. Our region is growing, and continuing to invest in education is crucial to this growth. Robust education systems attract businesses and foster economic development, innovation, and productivity. Companies seek regions with a skilled labor pool, which directly impacts their bottom line. Moreover, the relationship between education opportunities in our area, an educated workforce, and our military partners is crucial. Our military community has a direct and indirect economic impact on our local economy, contributing a staggering $2.6 billion, which represents approximately 20% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the region. The significance of this renewal extends far beyond its immediate impact. We collectively urge you to encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to cast their votes on March 5. Every vote matters, and together, we strengthen our schools, communities, and future.

    Quotes from our Community Leaders in Attendance:

    Colonel Ryan Richardson, Commander, 42nd Air Base Wing, Maxwell Air Force Base, “We bring airmen to serve at Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex, we not only come here to learn how to employ airpower for national security, but we also bring our families here, we raise them here and they are in these schools.” 

    Caryn Hughes, Chairman of the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce Board & Market President ServisFirst Bank, “Let me emphasize this is a renewal tax; this is not a new tax; it has existed for 40 years. It is an investment in our school system, community, the continuance of our economic stability, and future growth.”

    Dr. Melvin Brown, Superintendent for Montgomery Public Schools, "This is about building. We do not want to dismantle, that is the opposite of what we should do as a community. I urge you to support this. These funds are essential to how we become the 21st-century district we want to be and that our kids deserve us to be. And this is how we become on par with every other district in the state."

    Dr. Keith Lankford, Superintendent for Pike Road Schools, “We are all moving and growing together. As Dr. Brown stated, the removal of this tax will have a negative impact immediately on the children in our community. These dollars represent what we are or are not able to do for a child, teacher, or paraprofessional.”

    Gordon Stone, City of Pike Road Mayor, “First, want to express appreciation to the Montgomery Chamber and its leadership for the job growth in our region. But we realize that there is an entire sector of employable people and jobs that we aren’t in the marketplace for yet. As we begin to grow knowledge-based recruitment opportunities, the most critical component for that type of industry is being able to show that you have a labor force that is ready and prepared and able to take advantage of it. That is why this is so important.”

    Steven L. Reed, City of Montgomery Mayor, “We want to make sure through this collaboration that this renewal is not overlooked. This is a vote for ROI (return on investment); look at it as necessary to maintain the competition across the country.”

    Anna Buckalew, Montgomery Chamber President & CEO, “As you approach the end of the ballot on Tuesday, you will encounter an amendment. This amendment presents two options, and I encourage you to choose ‘yes.’ Why? Because ‘yes’ signifies continuing the renewal of the millage levy. But it's more than that—you are ensuring there’s no change in your tax bill, none whatsoever. We are moving in the right direction, and now is the perfect time to say, ‘yes’ to Montgomery County.” 

     

    Additional video footage and images from this event: https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/djb2h303f939ylvb8bza4/h?rlkey=txtqpomo5kggnosatnyo0x8j0&dl=0
     

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    Media Release:
    Greta Locke
    (cell) 205-862-9307

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  • Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce
    600 S. Court St, P.O. Box 79
    Montgomery, Alabama 36101
    Tel: 334.834.5200   Fax: 334.265.4745

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