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Grassroots Alhambra membership declined by Chamber of Commerce

Grassroots Alhambra members. Photo via Grassroots Alhambra Facebook.


Alhambra , 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.

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4 thoughts on “Grassroots Alhambra membership declined by Chamber of Commerce”

  1. Are Alhambra’s Contracts with Chamber of Commerce Appropriate?

  2. It appears the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce views Grassroots Alhambra as a threat. Seems discriminatory for an organization that receives hundreds of thousands of dollars in no-bid city contracts each year. Perhaps City Hall should reconsider contracting with an organization that is not welcoming to the entire community. I want to be clear that Grassroots Alhambra members met many nice and welcoming members of the Chamber at their last mixer. It appears only to be the Chamber’s Executive Board that has an axe to grind with Grassroots Alhambra. Very sad, but Grassroots Alhambra will continue to be engaged and do good work throughout the community regardless of the Chamber’s views. ALL members of the community are welcome to join Grassroots Alhambra.


    I am a member of Grassroots Alhambra, but the above statements are my own personal views.

  3. Holy Moly why is the chamber kicking out Grassroots? They have done a lot of community work for the good of the residents. Something fishy here to my nose. I guess questioning the environmental impact of developments is a no no in the eyes of the chamber. The Chamber position denying eclimate change mirrors this anti environment attitude. Shame on them and keep on doing to Grassroots Alhambra.

  4. Melissa Michelson

    How is this a “private matter”? The Chamber of Commerce and Grassroots Alhambra are both groups in Alhambra, this is not a private matter. It’s obvious to me the Chamber is retaliating against Grassroots for the lawsuit against the City. In the letter, it didn’t go into details about what ‘actions’. It just goes to show what a close relationship the Chamber and the City have.