Your job may depend on it

Posted: Monday, October 01, 2001

The time has come to choose who will be our new representatives on the Assembly. Your decision is critical to our community in terms of the direction Juneau moves. Will we foster an environmentally sound, business-friendly community? The choice will be made in the voting booth Tuesday.

Some of our neighbors seemed shocked that the business community has begun to express genuine concern for our future. Perhaps we small business owners have woken up and are scared to death that we will no longer be able to provide jobs for our neighbors and feed our families if Juneau continues to destroy all potential development projects and alienate the rest of the state. Recently, one writer suggested that we should be more government-friendly as if the business community was against government jobs. Ridiculous! It's not an us versus them battle and to suggest that private sector job creators and employees don't want healthy public sector employment is dumb. We need both. However, a series of bad public policy decisions in Juneau have led to five straight years of economic contraction and many business owners from many sectors are all saying enough is enough! The facts is, we can build roads, homes, and golf courses, extract minerals and harvest our forests and oceans without doing environmental damage. This is one private sector employer who has complete faith in the public sector employees at DEC and other regulatory agencies. Yet the anti-development types don't seem to share my respect for the people charged with protecting our environment. Odd isn't it?

By electing business-friendly Assembly members we can begin to change Juneau's reputation throughout the region and the state. I encourage my fellow business owners to voice their opinions and talk to the friends, neighbors and employees about their perspectives and concerns. I will be giving all my employees time off to go to the polls on Tuesday and encourage them to elect pro-business candidates. I ask you to vote for pro-business candidates too. After all, your job may depend on it.

Bruce Abel

Past President, Juneau Chamber of Commerce

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