Aspen, Colorado has long been known as a skiing destination, but it’s the city's Chamber of Commerce that’s recently been making headlines.
As reported in the American Independent, the Aspen Chamber Resort Association (ACRA) recently voted 11-1 to withdraw its membership from the national US Chamber of Commerce organization.
The town, which suffered a big hit in tourism due to the region’s unusually dry winter, saw many members of the community (including the mayor) ask the Aspen Chamber of Commerce to divorce itself from the right-wing US Chamber of Commerce over its decision to completely ignore solutions to climate change.
The following was taken from the ACRA’s meeting minutes from its annual retreat:
“After a substantive and productive debate, the board ultimately decided that because the ACRA’s mission is to be the unifying voice for and reflect the core values of our local business community and reflect their core values, it is important its own affiliations are in line with the city, the county and the majority of the business owners’ views…an association with the US Chamber, which so vigorously opposes important energy reform, is out of that alignment.”
This isn’t the first time a community’s Chamber of Commerce has decided to end its relationship with the national office over politics. Homer, Alaska’s Chamber of Commerce did the same thing in September 2011, but Aspen is a much bigger, higher profile town than Homer.
In all, 60 different Chambers of Commerce have either denounced the headquarters’ politics or have cut ties altogether.
Large corporations like Nike and Apple also dropped their memberships to the US Chamber of Commerce a few years ago after it publicly opposed EPA measures to track CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions.
It remains to be seen if other large communities will follow Aspen’s lead, but Aspen’s message is loud and clear: enough of the climate change denial!