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Hayden Chamber Discusses Anti-Bias

Item: Hayden chamber talks anti-discrimination: It is unknown if City Council will address possible ordinance/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: Panelists representing both sides of an anti-discrimination ordinance geared at protecting homosexuals discussed why they support or oppose the ordinance Thursday at the Kroc Center during the Hayden Chamber of Commerce's membership breakfast. Whether the Hayden City Council ever takes up the ordinance remains to be seen — nobody is proposing to pitch it that way yet — but supporters said an ordinance wouldn't harm local businesses if it did. They also said cities are doing the right thing by taking on the measure because protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination is an issue Congress should address, but hasn't.

Question: Do you think the 2014 Legislature will address this issue, now that six Idaho cities have?

Hayden Chamber Sets Anti-Bias Panel

A panel featuring human rights advocate Tony Stewart will discuss the recent antidiscrimination ordinance adopted by the city of Coeur d'Alene when the Hayden Chamber of Commerce meets for breakfast at 7 o'clock Thursday, June 27, at the Kroc Center. Stewart will be joined by Idaho state Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, and Coeur d'Alene council members Mike Kennedy and Dan Gookin. A press release for the event reads: "Since there are ongoing efforts to bring similar ordinances to the surrounding communities, there is a potential for this legislation to affect businesses in the Hayden Chamber. In response the Chamber will be hosting a panel of individuals to discuss the impacts on businesses."

Question: Am I reading the tea leaves correctly — that Hayden will be asked next to approve an antidiscrimination ordinance?

Chamber Opposes EPA Silver Valley Plan

Item: Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce opposes EPA plan/Coeur d’Alene Press

More Info: “The Silver Valley has great potential for economic growth. The area’s existing mining and supporting services together with tourism, real estate, and other business sectors need to be viable today and into the future. The proposal does not guarantee future mining and the plan extends the “Superfund stigma”. This stigma already threatens the economic health and growth in the Silver Valley, and the greater Coeur d’Alene area. The proposal will undoubtedly threaten the area for decades to come” — Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce.

Question: Where do you stand on EPA plans for the Silver Valley?

HBO Poll: We Belong To Civic Clubs

  • Tuesday Poll: By the slimmest of margins, a majority of you Berry Pickers are members of the chamber of commerce or some other civic organization. 56 of 111 respondents (50%) said you were members of a civic group, while 55 of 111 respondents (50%) said you don’t belong to the chamber or a civic club.
  • Todays Question (in lefthand rail): Who won the 1st Congressional District debate last night — Raul Labrador or Vaughn Ward?

Yes, why aren’t you pushing for climate change legislation, man?

Yesterdays hijinks in Washington D.C involving the United States Chamber of Commerce, a fake United States Chamber of Commerce, and the issue of pushing for climate change legislation was interesting at best - probably more so given our insanely fast-paced news gathering tendencies (Twitter was a fun medium to follow this story on) - but what might have been lost in all of it was part of the backstory that admittedly escaped us in early October. 

In case you missed it, here’s some of what went down yesterday.  A group of self proclaimed political performance artists called The Yes Men posed as Chamber of Commerce officials pushing for comprehensive climate change legislation and held a fake press conference at the National Press Club as well as releasing a fake press release under the Chamber’s name announcing that they, “reversed its position on climate change policy, and promised to immediately cease lobbying against the Kerry-Boxer bill.” Within minutes, a representative of the real Chamber of Commerce broke up the conference and the two officials, one real, one fake, argued about who actually worked for the Chamber.  You can watch the video after the jump.  As well as reaction from the Rachel Maddow show.

The Yes Men are best known for posing as corporate executives in order to reveal how corporate greed negatively influences public policy, and yesterday they, as the Huffington Post put it, “sought to reveal—and repeal—relentless corporate lobbying of elected officials aimed at derailing domestic climate legislation and a much-needed global climate accord.”

But amidst all the jokes was the fact that just in the last half of a month, some major corporations have pulled out of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because of the organization’s strident criticism of plans to reduce U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions.  Two weeks ago, Apple was one of them saying, “Apple supports regulating greenhouse gas emissions, and it is frustrating to find the Chamber at odds with us in this effort. And as a result, we have decided to resign our membership effective immediately.” The others to pull out have been the power companies Pacific Gas and Electric, PNM Resources, and Exelon.  And Nike resigned from its position on the Chamber’s board but not its membership. Others, including Xerox, Lockheed Martin and Caterpillar, are under pressure from environmentalists and shareholder activists to do the same.

A Wall Street Journal blog post reminds us that the Chamber’s position hasn’t changed, “Chamber President Tom Donohue has been vociferous in his opposition “cap and trade” legislation favored by the White House that would make industries pay for carbon emissions.”

So the Chamber remains staunch, as staunch as their opposition to realizing the need for real climate change legislation, and you ask what you can do about it.  Your spending habits, and your commsumer behaviors could go a long way in voicing your displeasure for companies that continue to ignore the need for change, or worse, support it. AT&T is helping fund a $100 million campaign by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to kill clean energy and health care in Congress, and Toyota is on board as well (green apps and Prius’s are easy to hide behind).  Voice you displeasure for AT&T HERE and for Toyota HERE.

High Noon: Coe Goes To California

Coe did figure something out, and his 14-year tenure with the Sandpoint chamber and subsequent 10-year stint as president of the Coeur d’Alene Chamber of Commerce marked a time when both cities emerged as tourist destinations that have attracted national attention from Time and Sunset magazines, as well as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and “Good Morning America.” Now, on the eve of Coe’s 25th anniversary in the chamber business, he and Pat are bidding farewell to North Idaho and moving to Santa Rosa, Calif., where he will become CEO of the chamber in the Sonoma County seat, heart of the wine country. He starts Sept. 14/Alison Boggs, SR. More here.

Question: Do you belong to a chamber of commerce? Why? (And/or: Which civic organizations do you belong to? Why?)