By Ahmed Haque
It is with tremendous pride that I introduce myself as your Chairman of the Board for 2018. I am humbled to lead such a diverse and talented Board and to continue the work of the Chairmen who came before me. I am especially grateful for the leadership and counsel of our immediate past Chairman, Deb Beddoe. Shadowing and learning from Deb over the last several years was invaluable preparation for where I sit now.
For over 95 years, the Chamber has help shape the history of Carlsbad and beyond. Dating back to before there was a City of Carlsbad, the Chamber worked to find solutions to everyday problems of both citizens and businesses alike. It has served consistently as an advocate for businesses of all sizes and a catalyst for economic growth. And on the biggest issues facing Carlsbad in every decade, the Chamber has served as a discussion forum and then as a trusted resource for information and a well-reasoned recommendation to citizens and their elected officials.
It is that last aspect of the Chamber’s legacy that I would like most to shape. Over the next two years Carlsbad citizens will elect a Mayor, four district-specific Councilmembers, a new County Supervisor, and a new US Congressman among other offices. Voters will face propositions from the State to the local level governing how your tax dollars are spent and perhaps the type of businesses and development projects you will see in Carlsbad.
The Chamber will provide information to help voters make informed decisions in elections and will study a host of emerging issues in Carlsbad including the Village and Barrio Master Plan, railroad trenching, and McLellan-Palomar Airport improvements. The Chamber will also confront the ongoing challenges of housing and transportation that are a major consideration in the attraction and retention of businesses in Carlsbad.
In that endeavor I’ve asked the Board to raise their voices, as representatives of our members, on all issues before them. A thorough examination of the issues and honest, respectful debate does not distract us from our Mission and Vision – it is a necessary component of it.
And as always, because of a staff that is second to none and an army of volunteers, you can rely on the Chamber to issue award-winning publications, offer valuable and engaging programs, and host memorable events.
I would love to hear your thoughts on how the Chamber can serve you better. Email me at [email protected] Let’s make this a fun and rewarding 2018!