Rep. Pike forms ‘Business Kitchen Cabinet’ to seek solutions for a better state economy


Aug. 16, 2013

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Rep. Pike forms ‘Business Kitchen Cabinet’ to seek solutions for a better state economy

Building upon the success of her Education Kitchen Cabinet, State Rep. Liz Pike announced today she has formed a similar group involving business leaders from throughout local communities. Pike said she created the Business Kitchen Cabinet to receive input from local business leaders about the direction Washington should take to improve the state’s economy and increase private-sector jobs.

“Too many new rules and excessive regulations have become a barrier to start-up companies and existing employers who wish to expand. Entrepreneurs are looking elsewhere in the country to locate their businesses due to Washington’s burdensome regulatory and tax climate. Many families in Southwest Washington and throughout the state are out of work, struggling to put food on the table and pay their rent or mortgages. I want to do all I can to incentivize companies to locate and bring jobs to Washington,” said Pike, R-Camas. “The best ideas come from those on the front lines – employers who actually deal with regulations on a day-to-day basis, sign paychecks and try to keep their doors open in the wake of the challenges they face. That’s why I’ve asked them to be a part of this group.”

Pike said she’s already received many great ideas about improving Washington’s public education system through her Education Kitchen Cabinet formed in May, which includes teachers, principals, superintendents and other local educators.

“I am applying this same program on a business level so I can hear directly from local leaders about what the Washington Legislature could do to foster a better business climate,” Pike said.

The 18th District lawmaker is concerned too many roadblocks are placed in front of employers who would like to create jobs in Washington.

“A perfect example is the Millennium Bulk Terminal with plans in Longview to build two export terminals that would increase our region’s ability to move minerals and Washington farm products to other parts of the world. A similar project is in the midst of permitting at the Port of Bellingham. In response, Governor Inslee and the state Department of Ecology are insisting the environmental impact study at the Bellingham facility must include worldwide climate change in the scoping process. This type of mentality tells job creators Washington is not open for business,” Pike noted. “We need to place people and family-wage jobs as our first priority and retool our regulatory agencies so they are helpful to business and no longer a hindrance to economic development.”

Members of the Business Kitchen Cabinet include:

Jon Creedon – Vancouver Ford
Aaron Lutz – Lutz Hardware
AJ Gomez – Global Security
Ott Gaither – Gaither Homes
Mike Bomar – Southwest Washington Contractors Association
Tracy Doriot – Doriot Construction
Jaima Johnson – Title / Escrow / Development
Darlene Johnson – Woodland Trucking
Lynda Wilson – DeWil’s Cabinets
Sherrie Adams – Realtor
Russell Brent – Mill Creek Pub
Calli Daily – Georgia Pacific Paper Mill
John Rudi – Thompson Metal Fab

The cabinet is scheduled to meet Sept. 4 and Oct. 30 from 10 a.m. to noon at Pike’s 18th District legislative office, 415 N.E. Cedar Street, Suite A in Camas.

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