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Chamber of Commerce Should Take a Stand on Measure E

By Dennis Green.

In an Alameda Journal Advertising Supplement from the Chamber of Commerce, bearing the slogan, “We Mean Business,” CEO Melody Marr writes, “Two years ago the Chamber was criticized for not taking a formal position on measures going before the various 2008 ballots….There are some issues that will be on the June ballot that may have the same impact…the Chamber is going through the process of reviewing all sides of issues before the Economic Development/Government Relations Committee…”

The Chamber has an excellent opportunity to demonstrate its determination to address issues, as promised in its Mission Statement: “To take a position on local issues affecting businesses.” Measure E, the new and increased school parcel tax on a mail-in ballot in June, will impact local businesses heavily.

And like Measure H — which the AUSD has spent over $217,000 fighting to defend — Measure E is a split-roll tax which will be challenged with lawsuits by local merchants. An informal group, “Alamedans For Fair Taxation,” opposed to Measure E, includes a number of prominent Alameda business owners. So the Chamber also has a perfect opportunity to prove its critics wrong, those who accuse it of being merely a “Cheyenne Social Club” which fails to provide leadership for its members, by taking a stand.

Dennis Green
Past President (’95-96)
Alameda Chamber of Commerce

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