Aspen, Colorado has shown national leadership in the fight against climate change with the passing of solutions-based measures like Challenge Aspen and the Canary Initiative, and many local organizations and businesses are opposed to the U.S. Chamber’s extreme right-wing rhetoric and anti-climate lobbying. Why, then, is the Aspen Chamber still a dues-paying member to a radical partisan lobbying group that spends more money working to undermine climate policy than any other organization on the planet?
Over the past year, 350.org Colorado Regional Organizer Micah Parkin has been working with residents and business owners in the Aspen area to help build a case for why the Aspen Chamber Resort Association should drop its membership with the U.S. Chamber. The campaign is picking up steam, with major companies like Aspen Skiing Co.—a key member of the Aspen Chamber—recently denouncing the U.S. Chamber, and many other local businesses following suit.
But will the pressure from the public and from local businesses be enough to convince the Aspen Chamber to take a stand? It’s starting to look that way. While the organization is mulling over the decision, the Aspen Times has put up a poll asking its readers whether or not the Aspen Chamber should quit, and so far more than 66% have said said that it should. Additionally, in response to a well-argued Op-Ed written by Micah Parkin on the issue, the Aspen Times has received and published at least ten Letters to the Editor in favor of the Aspen Chamber quitting the U.S. Chamber.
If you live in the Aspen area, please be sure to add your voice to the debate by sending in your comments to the Aspen Times.