FEBRUARY 1, 2022
Citing results of a recent survey of its membership and trends in the chamber of commerce industry, the Board of Directors of the Redding Chamber of Commerce voted at its January meeting to dissolve its Political Action Committee (PAC) and cease the endorsement of candidates and funding of candidate campaigns.
In a 2021 Redding Chamber membership survey, more than 85% of respondents said they want the Chamber to help elect business-friendly candidates and give them information they can trust regarding candidates and issues affecting local business. However, when asked if they believe the Chamber should endorse candidates, the results were a 50/50 split. According to a 2020 survey of chambers of commerce across the Western US conducted by the Western Association of Chamber Executives (WACE), roughly 7 out of 10 chambers of commerce do not have a PAC and do not participate in candidate endorsements.
According to Redding Chamber of Commerce Board Chairperson Amanda Hutchings, it is important for the organization to stay in tune with its constituency. “By and large, the Chamber industry continues to move away from the traditional Political Action Committee (PAC) structure. Our Board felt that the timing was right to align with that transition and instead work toward a more collaborative, educational approach that involves our business stakeholders and local decision-makers”.
To that end, the Redding Chamber is in the process of forming a Government Affairs Committee (GAC), designed to advocate for local business, collaborate with the public sector to get things done for local business, and provide education on issues and local candidates from the perspective of local business. Chamber president and CEO Jake Mangas says the Redding Chamber is committed to being a trusted source of information for the local business community. “We have heard from our members that they want us to carry their voice and provide them with information on issues and candidates, but they do not want us to tell them how to vote.”
The Redding Chamber will abide by its “C.I.T.Y.” plan, to lead with Credibility, Integrity, Transparency, and You, the voice of its members. The Chamber will be surveying its membership in the near future to help set the direction of the questions asked at the Chamber’s upcoming candidates forums later this year. Additionally, a digital voter guide will be released, featuring interviews with the candidates in races of importance as identified by the Government Affairs Committee.
The Redding Chamber of Commerce is a convener of leaders and influencers, a catalyst for business growth, and a champion of a stronger community.