Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Chamber's (unanimous) endorsement documents



The Lafayette Chamber of Commerce has posted its endorsmement documents on its website. You can get a summary in the form of a press release, an eight page postion paper (with references) and a two page executive summary. You can also get a look at earlier docs that support this one—(their broadband policy, and a paper on public/private issues)

The endorsement, as rumored, was unanimous. That's great—and frankly, unexpected. An endorsement has been inevitable for some time but unanimity is a valuable extra. The downside is that, apparently to get that unanimity, the chamber chose to press for public/private partnerships in both construction and running the utility. Two sources that were at the meeting last night have made a point of assuring people that the Chamber's support is complete and in no way conditioned upon the city or LUS agreeing to put city property into private hands.

What is demonstrated here is the coming together of Lafayette. We've got Democrats sitting beside Republicans and plotting cash, phone banks and walking bands. We've got citizen's groups forming with representation deliberately drawn from every corner of the city. We've now got the Chamber of Commerce aboard—unanimously.

This is all to the best: the more we come together, the more obvious it is to BellSouth and Cox that the community is unified in its support, and the less likely the fight is to get really ugly and divisive. Only when it looks likely that a campaign of fear and distrust of our elected leaders and our local utility is likely to backfire will these corporations decide that the course they set themselves on last summer is counterproductive. As was once said: "They need to get out of our way because we are not going to stand down on this." BellSouth and Cox need to understand the truth of those words.

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