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Thursday, Feb 22, 2024


LETTER Misunderstanding Over UCC As the Chairman of the Board of the United Chambers of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley, I am compelled to write to you regarding “One Chamber Pushed to Represent the Valley” (March 3) to correct some obvious misunderstandings reflected therein and in other articles you have recently published. First, let me set aside a basic misconception. The UCC is not a chamber. Your recent “ranking” us as one was, therefore, entirely inaccurate. UCC is an association of Valley chambers and related business groups, which have organized together in the UCC to provide all of them with a greater collective voice on Valleywide issues in the media and legislature. The UCC is comprised of 25 such organizations at this time, representing more than 8,000 businesses employing some 350,000 employees, so our representative base is quite substantial. Secondly, the UCC is not in competition with but rather works in cooperation with its member groups and other Valley business interests to improve the lot of Valley business generally. We assiduously avoid such competition, economically or geographically, not withstanding the pronouncements of the few persons quoted in the subject article who were either ignorant of the true facts or misstated them. It should be noted that only one Valley chamber is not a member of UCC, yet the article featured the criticism of the employee of that chamber while all the while (and up to and including this past month) she actively sought to still participate in UCC’s key events and sought and secured UCC’s help on a serious legislative problem affecting her area. The other source’s idea of one Valley chamber obviously only appears like a good idea to him. Yet his solitary and unsupported idea was given prominence in your article as the headline and he was portrayed as a legitimate spokesperson, although his idea never had “legs” nor did he have a constituency in the first place. Indeed, since its inception and especially in recent years, the UCC has acted as the common voice of our members on too many key Valley legislative, planning and policy issues to mention here, has assisted chambers in trouble to reach vigorous rejuvenation and has enthusiastically taken decisive action to advance our members’ interests in every conceivable manner from membership growth and retention to business development, transportation, development, infrastructure and governance issues, to mention a few. Furthermore, we get it that we are the “voice of Valley business” by delegation from our members as they decide within our constitutional democratic process. We respect and support each of our chambers’ views and geographic and/or ethnic identities, and support them fully. That is what sets us apart. We do support rather than conflict. We at UCC are the sum of our member chambers. We are not their “parent”, holding company or umbrella. We are their vehicle to a stronger, unified voice. Economically, most of our members are enjoying good health and prospects. We are there as a resource for those that may be struggling, at their discretion, but such requests are nil today, despite our struggling economy, so we in the chamber community must be doing something right. Indeed, many of our chambers are growing dramatically, some in part due to our direct intervention at their request. Criticisms of the few uninformed outsiders or those with personal, unfathomable or unsupportable bones to pick are unfortunately inevitable in a society that properly encourages free speech. Yet the article was heavily weighted on the opinion of these sources and their isolated views. William F. Powers Jr. Chairman of the Board United Chambers of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley

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