The mission of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce is to be the representative voice of county for-profit and non-profit businesses in working to improve the county economy and to address pressing county socioeconomic issues.
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Chamber board position on upcoming school levy referendum


 I have been asked about the chamber board’s position on the upcoming school levy referendum  several times now, so I thought I would send all of you this explanation.
At the Chamber board’s Aug. 27 meeting, it heard a presentation by representatives of ISD 166 on the school levy that will be the subject of a referendum on Nov. 3. The board’s endorsement of the levy was sought.
This was the first political question to come up since the chamber organized. After hearing the presentation, the Chamber board decided to take no official, organizational position, because the chamber is a member-representative organization and many members oppose this school levy. Individual board members, like individual chamber members, will take their own positions on it. Several board members indicated they intend to vigorously support the levy.
 Additionally, the board voted to hold a public lunch at which members and others could hear an ISD 166 presentation on the levy and ask questions about it. Further, the board moved to affirm that it believes a strong educational system remains a key to economic prosperity for Cook County – and to encourage everyone to learn what they can about the levy, then vote their own minds. 

I am now working to arrange the lunch, Oct. 6, at Higher Ed. The chamber will pay for the lunch, which will be catered by Java Moose, a chamber member. Because of the lunch, RSVPs are required, as we can only host 40-45 people. You can reserve a spot by calling Higher Ed at 387-3411. I will be also writing a letter to the editor, probably next week, explaining the chamber position and inviting people to the lunch.

In making its decision, the chamber board was advised that it is unusual for chambers to take positions on political questions -- precisely because it tends to split the organization into camps of supporters and opponents. Our organization was created to bring our community together, not cause division. So the chamber will remain officially neutral.

Jim Boyd
Executive Director
Cook County Chamber of Commerce

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