New chamber leader to focus on economic recovery

May 14, 2021
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Written by Washington Retail
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Rachel Smith, the new President & CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, hopes to engage the City Council in an economic recovery campaign to overcome damage from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Smith made immediate news by announcing that the Chamber would break with tradition by not making endorsements or campaign contributions to City Council and mayoral candidates in elections later this year.

“Instead, we will focus on elevating – and pushing for – serious civic dialogue on the most pressing issues in our region,” Smith wrote in Publicola.

Downtown Seattle revitalization is necessary after the pandemic contributed to more than 150 businesses closing in the past year.

Highlights of Smith’s ambitious agenda include:

  • Addressing housing affordability
  • Providing shelter and services for more of the homeless living in Seattle
  • Accomplishing police reform while building trust in communities of color
  • Maintaining the city’s aging infrastructure and a long-range vision for the future of transit and mobility.

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