Friday, December 26, 2014

Chamber PAC puts candidates to the test

If you go

What: Chamber PAC’s City Council candidates debate

When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 2

Where: Community Chambers at City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd.

Admission: Free

By Steve Greenfield

The Davis Chamber Political Action Committee members will be interviewing all five City Council candidates in advance of Wednesday’s debate to better understand the candidates’ views on the balance between economic, social and environmental concerns.

These interviews will provide a framework for designing challenging questions that will be presented live during the debate. Based on the candidate interviews and performance in the debate, the Chamber PAC members may choose to recommend or support a candidate or slate of candidates.

The Davis Chamber of Commerce is a membership organization whose mission is to promote, support and advocate the general economic vitality of its membership and the quality of life for the community. The Chamber and its PAC are not affiliated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce or the California Chamber of Commerce.

In 1997, the Chamber created a Political Action Committee to “support (or oppose) local, county or state ballot measures which impact the business environment in Davis.” Formed and operated under the guidelines of the California secretary of state, the Davis Chamber PAC is financially separated from the membership organization. The sole funding source for the PAC is voluntary contributions by individual members of the Chamber. No funds from the operating budget of the Chamber are used to support PAC activities.

The Chamber does not relish engaging in local politics; it would much rather focus on policy, projects and job creation to improve our quality of life.  However, it would be irresponsible not to act, given our city’s fiscal emergency. “Business as usual” is no longer a viable course of action. It is imperative that the Davis community has political leadership capable of fostering a community that is not only socially and environmentally sustainable, but also economically sustainable.

Our community deserves elected officials and government staff who are willing and able to work constructively with community organizations and private industry to find solutions for today’s problems. The debate will be aired multiple times on Davis Media Access and will be posted on the brand-new Davis Chamber PAC website,, after the event. This new website is intended to increase awareness about issues that matter in our community, including the need for balanced leadership. If you would like to support our organization, you may make a contribution to our cause online.

We intend to mobilize our resources to encourage our community to support or oppose ballot measures and elect a City Council that will focus on already-identified community challenges, craft effective strategies to meet them and execute those strategies in a timely fashion.

The Chamber PAC has been charged with:

* Crafting and executing electoral strategies that result in improvement of our members’ economic vitality and the quality of life for the entire community;

* Interviewing all council candidates in a debate conducive to properly assessing their grasp of economic matters and the critical role a robust local economy has in fostering a sustainable community;

* Considering recommendation and possible support of a council candidate or slate of candidates who support the mission of the Chamber;

* Raising funds to support PAC activities; and

* Forming a broad-based, business community coalition to support these efforts.

These efforts are not intended to start and end with the June election. Rather, these efforts shall be ongoing to ensure we do not lose sight of the critical importance a robust, local economy has in sustaining the well-being of the community.

— Steve Greenfield chairs the Davis Chamber of Commerce PAC.



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