Monday, June 27, 2016

A Day Late

The Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce is gearing down.  They say less is more, and it may be because they have done so little in the post 2008 meltdown of our city's economy.  Coupled with sidling up to do nothing economic development  teams from the state and city, they have been forced to this point.  This is all on them, but maybe it will be for the better.  That Chamber has existed to protect the status quo for years and maybe this new direction will let them actually accomplish something.

They say the want to work on Public Safety, Education and Downtown development.  Well, the Public Safety issue really must have a proponent in the Mayor's office.  So, that effort maybe doomed.  As far as the Education initiative, I wish them well.  They will need to depend on having a Governor who is willing to rethink tax breaks that  have hurt education on all levels.  That is going to require some new lobbying staff at the legislature that can go to Santa Fe with some ideas to retool educational funding.

The most interesting new direction is working to spur Downtown redevelopment.  While I worked as Mayor on Downtown revitalization in the late 90's and early 2000s, the Chamber was really just a bystander.  They were pretty much in the pocket of the sprawl developers and saw investment in the older parts of the City to be counter productive.  So, it is great  they have signed on some two decades later.  That movie theater and housing we started with some astute Downtown supporters some years ago is finally getting the support it always should have had.  You can't have a livable city without a good core.


Anonymous said...

I hope the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce "gearing down" includes showing its President Terri Cole the exit door. She has been with the Chamber now for 30 years, she clearly is part of the problem and has become more of a Republican Political Operative in Santa Fe and the number one cheerleader, with the help of the Economic Forum, of Richard Berry and Gordon Eden. The Chamber saying they want to work on "public safety" is a good example of the Chamber sticking their noses into an area they know absolutely nothing about, and they are doing it about 7 years too late now that the DOJ is here to stay.

Bubba Muntzer said...

Let me take this opportunity to remind people that the definition of a union is when people band together to further interests they have in common. The 3359 members listed on the Albuquerque Chamber's web site make it the biggest union in town. It's also part of the US Chamber of Commerce with headquarters at the center of government in Washington, DC, easily the most powerful union in the country.

Consumers could easily cause the Chamber act in the public interest more by banding together to pursue interests they have in common, which would require us to stop obsessing about inconsequential interests we don't have in common, so the prospects for that aren't good, history shows. So the Chamber downsizing can only be seen as a good thing.

By the way, has anyone noticed that the Kit Carson Electric Co-op has decided to stop buying electricity from the Co-op association and start buying it from a private corporation? This should be looked into by a good reporter. Why, is the first question. This is very, very odd. Is there any payoff involved, of course. And second, it's implications for the co-op movement in general should be brought out.

This should be especially concerning to New Mexicans because Dennis Chavez wrote the legislation that created the Rural Electrification Administration. Before it, most of America, geographically, and almost all of New Mexico, was without electricity because private electricity companies refused to deliver it to rural America because it wasn't profitable enough.

Anyone who knows any current Democratic elected official should let them know who Dennis Chavez was, what he stood for, what he believed in, etc. They haven't got a clue.