LocationAlhambra , CA United States
The Chamber of Commerce rejected a nonprofit that has opposed local developments in the past, after initially approving its application and featuring the organization in its most recent newsletter.
A letter rejecting the organization’s membership was sent on August 8. It said that the Board of Directors “feels strongly that your organization, its goals and its actions do not align with those of the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce.”
Executive Director Jose Aguayo said that Grassroots Alhambra wasn’t anti-business, but that its goals were to look at issues that affect residents. He planned to ask Gibbs to explain the Chamber’s reasoning.
Members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors were unavailable or declined to provide comment on the decision. Chamber Executive Director Sharon Gibbs also declined to comment, calling the issue a private matter.
Grassroots Alhambra was started in 2014 and had since become known for its criticism of major development projects.* The group filed a lawsuit to block the Lowe’s Development on South Fremont Avenue earlier this year, citing inadequate study of environmental impacts. The Chamber of Commerce printed an article in support of the Lowe’s project in its May 2017 issue.
The Chamber sent a letter accepting Grassroots Alhambra as a member in early July, said Aguayo. The organization was then formally welcomed in the Chamber’s monthly newsletter, Around Alhambra, before the rejection letter was sent.
The rejection letter said that membership was conditional on board approval and asked Grassroots Alhambra to disregard the previous acceptance letter.
*Several members of Grassroots Alhambra have contributed to the Alhambra Source and/or serve on our advisory board.