Approach to Advocacy
Credibility is the single most important attribute of successful lobbying. Ray has invested his career in building and maintaining reliable and enduring relationships based on trust with elected and appointed officials at all levels of government.
Ray approaches every lobbying/advocacy task by first analyzing the public policy implications and issues then working with the client to craft the best arguments which support the client objectives. Setting realistic, achievable goals is important especially given the short 90-day session in Alaska.
Economic/Resource Development and Public Infrastructure & Capital Budget Appropriations
Over the past 20 years, Ray assisted in securing appropriations for ports, harbors, sewer and water, schools and road construction projects. He has represented both public and private entities in funding economic development and public infrastructure projects throughout the state. These include EPA-mandated water and sewage treatment, wastewater treatment and landfill appropriations for Unalaska, and infrastructure and correctional facility appropriations for the Mat-Su Borough and Kodiak. Total appropriations are in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
As Chief of Staff, Ray was intimately involved in the legislation that led to the opening of the Red Dog mine near Kotzebue. Because of the State’s involvement in financing the project, the legislative effort was enormous and very complicated.
In the 1980s, Ray organized an association of Non Profit Hatchery Associations which successfully lobbied for a state funding plan to transfer state hatcheries to the private nonprofit associations. The legislation provided funding and statutory authority for continued operation of the hatcheries on a self-sustaining basis avoiding closure of numerous state owned salmon hatcheries.
Ray also successfully lobbied for a fisheries landing tax which assists impacted communities in providing goods and services to the off shore fishing fleet.
In the 1990s, Ray represented Motorola in securing funding for the Alaska Land Mobile Radio emergency communication system. And in the mid 1990s, Ray was instrumental in helping bring competition to the Alaska telecommunications industry on behalf of AT&T, overcoming intense opposition by the incumbent monopoly phone company and opening the Alaska regulatory framework to competition. This required intense lobbying and advocacy during the budget and legislative process. Ray has represented AT&T for over 20 years on general business, procurement code and telecommunication matters.
In 2005, Ray worked with the Family Resource Center in Anchorage to secure an appropriation for help replace the Campfire USA office building. Ray also worked for Covenant House in Anchorage helping obtain funding for a new facility.
Environmental/Fuel Distribution and Delivery
In the post-Exxon Valdez oil spill sessions, Ray was instrumental in crafting an oil spill prevention and contingency plan legislation for refined fuel oil distributors including Crowley, Petro Marine, Delta Western and tug and barge companies. Oil spill prevention and cleanup was a major component of this endeavor.
For several years, Ray represented the Alaska Small Cruise Vessel Association in a successful effort to devise an alternate environmental compliance program for small cruise ships (under 250 passengers). The bill passed both houses of the legislature unanimously and was signed into law by the Governor. This statute has been renewed since first being adopted in 2004.
Municipal Revenue Sharing
InIn 2006, Ray represented the Alaska Municipal League (AML) on the Community Revenue Sharing program, which had been completely eliminated in 2004, and Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) funding.
As a result of Ray’s intensive lobbying (and grassroots) efforts, the 2007 legislature adopted a new Community Revenue Sharing program that now provides a minimum of $60M annually to support local government services and PERS relief.
Since then, Ray has assisted AML to secure supplemental revenue sharing appropriations. For FY 2013, the supplemental revenue sharing will be $25 M for a total annual appropriation of $85 million. In 2014 the legislature appropriated 3B$ to the PERS and TRS retirement funds with strong support from the AML lobbying team, headed up by Gillespie and Associates.
AML membership consists of 163 Alaska cities and boroughs, representing about 97% of Alaska’s population. In addition Ray currently represents the City of Unalaska and the City of Kodiak.
For the past 20 years Ray has worked extensively on health care issues focused primarily on mental health and Medicaid issues. In the 2012, legislature Ray lobbied SB 137, which provides for teacher training in suicide awareness and prevention. SB 137 was passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor. Additionally, Ray has represented North Star Behavior Health System and its predecessors for 24 years in the health care arena on Medicaid funding, rate making, and related health care issues.
Ray has an extensive background in maritime law and related issues. He has represented marine transportation industry concerns for many years handling legislation dealing with environmental spill prevention and clean up, marine pilotage, marine fuel distribution and regulation.