Time for California Northstate University to upgrade their Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce membership?


This week's special meeting of the Elk Grove City Council where California Northstate University received city council permission to pursue tax-exempt bond financing for their controversial hospital project was filled with many undercurrents.

One of the more interesting ones appeared following comments from a representative of Dignity Health's Methodist Hospital. Speaking on behalf of the sprawling healthcare provider, Methodist Hospital's president Phyliss Baltz reminded the city council that Dignity Health would soon start construction on their approved Civic Center hospital.

Although Baltz did not mention CNU during her comments (see video below), her message could be construed a shot across the bow. Baltz diplomatically reminded the council members and the standing-room-only audience that Dignity Health is "a proven and trusted medical provider" and by extension, CNU is a blob of unformed clay.   

In a post-special meeting discussion with an EGN reader, we were reminded that three of four of the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce's so-called Platinum Premier Partners are healthcare providers. Those benefactors are Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente, and Sutter Health.

According to the chamber of commerce's website, a Platinum Premier membership is $10,000 annually. CNU is a regular chamber member.

So does this membership have implications? Maybe, maybe not.

Looking forward to the 2020 Elk Grove city council races, will the importance of the three Platinum Premier healthcare heavyweights - who would presumably not prefer to compete with CNU - influence the chamber's political action committee's endorsement of candidates? 

Furthermore, aside from candidate endorsements and their respective positions on the controversial project, what is the chamber of commerce's stance on the CNU controversy? Do they stay true to their mission "to strengthen our community through supporting, empowering, and building local business" and support CNU's project, stay neutral, or side with their benefactors?

As it relates to candidate endorsements, how will the chamber view their stances on the CNU project? Will they stay true to their mission and endorse a candidate who is open to all businesses, or will the influence of the three healthcare providers weigh-in and they will favor candidates opposing the project?

Even though the chamber of commerce's political endorsement is coveted, does it matter with most Elk Grove voters? After all, if the chamber's and several other endorsements for that matter were relevant to voters, in 2016, we would have had a Mayor Kevin Spease or Mayor Darren Suen in 2018.

Regardless, chamber leadership would be well served to visit Alvin Cheung and others at CNU and discuss an upgrade of their membership. After all, the chamber could easily pocket another $10,000.



Copyright by Elk Grove News © 2019. All right reserved.










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1 comment

D.J. Blutarsky said...

They've got ol' Alvin looking like a chicken on a rotisserie spit now!

In order to restore his "political capital", good ol' Alvin is gonna sit there spinning and spinning, getting pecked at until there's hardly anymore meat left on them bones. Finally when that chicken looks like a day old Chicken McNugget with a drained bank account, maybe, and just maybe, he will have his political capital back!

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