In a statement issued Monday, February 5, the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce announced their formal opposition to Prop 1, which would overturn existing non-discrimination protections for transgender people in the city.
The Chamber has represented over 900 businesses and their 50,000 employees in Anchorage for over 100 years. Their mission, as quoted, is, “to advance a successful business climate by attending to the civic, economic, and cultural betterment of our community.”
The statement definitively lays out the case for how Prop 1 would be incredibly detrimental to Anchorage’s business climate. The Chamber states that passage of the discriminatory ordinance would promote a negative message that Anchorage is not a welcoming city, thereby discouraging potential new business opportunities and leading to a severe decrease in tourism dollars, a major factor in Anchorage’s economy:
“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 says. “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.”
The Chamber’s statement emphasizes the positive effects of the existing non-discrimination law, in effect since 2015, which provides comprehensive protections for all residents in Anchorage.
Anchorage cannot stand to lose its competitiveness for new business and workforce talent, nor suffer a hit to its reputation as an inclusive and welcoming city.
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