In my time at the Redding Chamber of Commerce we have continued a legacy of involvement in vetting local candidates, hosting candidate forums, taking positions on issues from sales tax initiatives, food truck parks, proposed development projects, crime & homelessness, cycling paths, and recall efforts, just to name a few. It is our belief, based upon input we have received from you in the past, that business advocacy and political action is Chamber work.
According to our most recent survey, which many of you completed over the past two weeks, that is still the case.
84% of respondents said they believe it is “somewhat important” to “very important” that the Chamber helps elect business-friendly candidates. 95% of respondents say that the Chamber should advocate for business-friendly policies. 84% said that it would be helpful if the Chamber provided information on local candidates running for office.
When asked whether or not the Chamber should endorse candidates in local office, a modest 55% majority replied “yes”. Also a near even split was the response to whether the Chamber should take a more active role in local candidate recruitment and development.
The overall reaction that I have in response to these survey results is that our members value getting information they can trust from us regarding candidates and issues that affect business. I think the “what” and “why” of this is clear: We should be involved in business advocacy and political action because it can have a direct impact on our local business community. I believe the opportunity that exists is to refine the “how” the Chamber presents its information and opinion regarding these matters and also to ensure we maintain credibility, integrity, and transparency in the process.
As the 2022 election season nears, we are going to be sure we communicate well with you. We want to be sure that the most important issues you face are brought to the attention of those seeking public office. I have said many times that as a Chamber we are a trusted convener, catalyst, and community champion. In addition, it takes a healthy dose of another C-word: Courage to step into the arena and represent your interests when not everyone will agree with us.
I look forward to updating you regarding our renewed approach in the months ahead.
President & CEO