More Than 40 Local Businesses Join the Chamber of Commerce, Visit Anchorage, AEDC to Oppose Prop 1

By March 7, 2018Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 7, 2018

Contact: Kati Ward, Fair Anchorage Campaign Manager, 907-202-6272kati@fairanchorage.org

ANCHORAGE – More than 40 Anchorage businesses have joined with Visit Anchorage, the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation, and Anchorage Chamber of Commerce in opposition to Prop 1.

The business coalition held a press conference today to discuss Prop 1 and the damage it would cause to Anchorage. The coalition boasts large, multinational corporations like BP and Conoco Phillips alongside iconic, local Anchorage businesses like Beartooth Theaterpub & Grill and Snow City Café.

If approved, Prop 1 would remove protections against discrimination for transgender people from Anchorage’s non-discrimination ordinance.

“We are against Proposition 1,” said John Kauffman, attorney at Stoel Rives in Anchorage. “As business owners, we are concerned that this proposition, if approved, would result in significant negative publicity for our city and harm our economy.  As lawyers, we are concerned about enacting such an ambiguously written law of questionable enforceability that has no reasonable justification.  And as residents of the Anchorage community, we cannot support a proposition that so clearly and intentionally singles out members of our community for discrimination and unequal treatment.”

A full list of businesses that are opposing Prop 1 can be found here: http://www.fairanchorage.org/businesses/

Bill Popp, president and CEO of AEDC described his organization’s opposition to Prop 1.

“AEDC’s ‘Live. Work. Play.’ initiative is a business-led effort to improve the quality of life in Anchorage, making the city not only a better place to live, but a better climate for business investment. The AEDC Board of Directors has voted to oppose Proposition 1. It is directly contradictory to our values as a community and as businesses we must foster and protect diversity and inclusion in Anchorage,” Popp said.

The business community is also concerned about the impact Prop 1 could have on tourism.

“Visit Anchorage’s Board of Directors opposes Proposition 1. As we have witnessed in other destinations, similar discriminatory initiatives threaten our industry and community interests,” said Julie Saupe, executive director of Visit Anchorage. “Tourism helps maintain private sector jobs and a strong economy. Passage of Proposition 1 will reduce Anchorage’s competitiveness as a welcoming destination for visitors and conventions.”

“The Anchorage Chamber of Commerce believes that passing Proposition 1 would be detrimental to business in the city,” a statement released on Feb. 5 and signed by Chamber President Bruce Bustamante said. “Many conferences and potential new business would be lost due to this discriminatory legislation which would convey the message that Anchorage is not a welcoming city. At a time when all businesses are working to stay competitive and keep workers employed, we simply can’t afford such a discriminatory initiative.”

Ballots for Anchorage’s municipal election will be mailed on March 13 and must be returned by April 3.

For more information about the campaign, visit: http://www.fairanchorage.org