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Saturday April 1st 2023

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That's what she said

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The Chamber is Not Xcel


The Boulder Chamber of Commerce is not Xcel was the emphatic assertion of Chamber Public Affairs Manager Angelique Espinoza in response to yesterday’s Blue Line article.  She clarified that the Chamber will be endorsing Boulder City Council candidates for the first time this year because of a long term desire by the board to take a more active role in local politics.  There is “the sense that the Chamber has really backed off for a long time on those issues.” According to Espinoza, “This is just the year that it all happened to line up to be able to go forward.”  The Chamber’s decision to endorse candidates this year has nothing to do with the municipalization issue, and the Chamber board developed its endorsement policy last year before it was known that the municipalization issue was going to be on the ballot.

Endorsement recommendations will be made by an endorsement subcommittee.  When asked if Xcel’s Boulder Region Manager Craig Eicher is on the endorsement committee, Espinoza responded, “Hell no!”  The endorsement subcommittee is made up of architects Adrian Sopher and Stephen Sparn, land use attorney Ed Byrne, Boulder Area Realtor Association V.P. Ken Hotard, and local businessman Richard Polk, with alternate Stephanie Lanonne of Housing Helpers. When asked how the larger Chamber membership is represented by this subcommittee, she responded that, “There are only so many people who are willing to stand up in terms of leadership.  That’s an ongoing issue for us.”  Endorsement recommendations will be forwarded to the full Chamber board, which will make the final decision on endorsements.

Espinoza explained that though Xcel’s Craig Eicher is on the Chamber board, his role is primarily with the affiliated Boulder Economic Council.  “Craig has sort of tended to recuse himself from conversations where, you know, this is, because we all recognize that its all very awkward,” she said.


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