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One Question Survey: January 28, 2019

This edition of the “One Question Survey” generated some particular interest, which reflects the highly politicized climate in which we currently live.  The question was:
While the EACC will not speak out on political issues, we also have traditionally been relatively quiet when it comes to policy questions, ranging from international trade policy to local issues such as public transportation. Do you believe the EACC should speak out more on public policy questions that impact our members?
In response to our mailing (which went to about 900 e-mail addresses), we received a 59 responses (about a 6.6 percent response rate).  43 respondents (~73 percent) said yes, and 16 (~27 percent) said no.  
Perhaps not surprisingly, we received a number of comments in response to the question, with one EACC member even writing me a personal e-mail to express his thoughts.  And most of the comments were exactly what one would anticipate:
  • “EACC should not become a political mouthpiece”
  • “EACC can have guest speakers…but should be neutral…on political opinions”
  • “EACC can speak out and…remain relatively bi-partisan…”
  • “…taking sides could hurt the relative objectivity of the EACC’s position with [its members]”
One person noted that the EACC is registered as a 501(c)(6) business association, which means our primary purpose is to promote the common business interests of our members .  While that designation does not specifically prohibit us from political activities or lobbying, this is not why the EACC was established: our mission is to stimulate business and networking relations between the Cincinnati Tri-State region and Europe.
I very much appreciate this feedback from members.  The Board has made it clear that the EACC is a strictly non-partisan organization; we will not take a side in any political argument.  But based on this feedback, I will try to do more to make you aware of initiatives like the work of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber to press for better public transportation options to better connect laborers to employers (an issue for many of our members).  And I may also report more frequently in the Newsbrief or in other channels about the work of groups like the National Association of Manufacturers or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and their work to ensure a steady supply of skilled labor or address our urgent infrastructure needs or resolving current trade disputes.  The intent would not be to advance a particular policy position but to encourage better understanding and development of the climate for transatlantic business relationships in our region in line with the EACC's mission.  
Thanks again to all who participated, and I’d love to hear your thoughts and reactions to the points above.  And let me know if you have suggestions for a future “One Question Survey.”

Todd Schwartz, Executive Director
(513) 762-3724

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