Chamber of Commerce Jobs Report Slams John Avalos; Avalos Slams Chamber Report

Categories: Government
Not that Jobs
Every year, the city's Chamber of Commerce puts out a list of which supervisors have been naughty and which have been nice. Its yearly "scorecard" tallies who voted for chamber-approved legislation and who voted against it. Except, in chamberspeak, supes siding with them "voted to support jobs and government efficiency" and those who acted contrary to their wishes "voted against jobs and government efficiency."

For anyone having trouble understanding the chamber's point, those "no" votes are graphically illustrated via the word "jobs" with a red line through it. Whatever the chamber's detractors may say about the organization -- and they do have a bit to say -- they'll never be able to accuse it of being insecure. To paraphrase Inspector Javert, the chamber is effectively stating "I am jobs. And jobs are not to be mocked!"
Chamber of Commerce scorecards, for the most part, are about as predictable as the Pepsi Challenge (which Pepsi won, incidentally). Moderates score at or near 100 percent. And Progressives don't. This year, Supervisor John Avalos came last, voting with the chamber on only 10 of the 16 issues it chose to spotlight. But he doesn't seem much concerned. And for the lowest-scoring supe to register a 63 percent tally is notable; in years past Chris Daly would clock in at as low as 13 percent.

"It's just a fluffy advocacy piece the chamber does," says Avalos. Added David Campos -- who voted with the chamber 69 percent of the time -- "I think if I had come up higher, that would have been a concern for some folks."

It warrants mentioning that the issues the chamber chose to highlight weren't all intuitive. A vote against Ross Mirkarimi's plastic bag ban expansion or the controversial 8 Washington development, or in favor of ranked-choice voting, was deemed "against jobs and government efficiency."

All in all, the board voted the chamber's way 81 percent of the time. The chamber assigned the board a B-minus, which gives the impression that our legislators are barely making the grade. But letter grades don't tell the real story; voting in lockstep with the chamber 81 percent of the time seems plenty high. Of 16 self-designated "important" issues, the board voted with the chamber on 13 of them.

For an organization that's all about jobs, the chamber doesn't do a very good job of explaining its overwhelming success.

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