A Message From the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce

Dear Chamber Members:

I am writing to you today as a mother and a business leader in San Francisco.

First, as a mother of a 20 year old multi-racial son, married to an African American man for over two decades, I am deeply concerned about the racial divide and inequities in our country. The violent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, an unarmed man who died calling for his mother, cannot be ignored. There simply have been too many wrongful deaths of African Americans, many by the hands of law enforcement officers. How can we protect our children? How do we prevent them from being victims of racism and discrimination, and give them the equal opportunities that we should all be afforded in our lifetimes?

As a business leader and Chair of your SF Chamber, I watched the two contrasting scenes throughout the weekend: peaceful and righteous protests on one side, and the dangerous and chaotic looting on the other. The anger and frustration over the death of Mr. Floyd, and the death of so many others over the years, is real and powerful. We must not allow the illegal activities of rogue individuals diminish and distract from the overall message of peaceful demonstrations and need for systemic change.

The ongoing impacts of COVID-19, record unemployment, and systemic racism in our country make this a tense and difficult time for our City. Local and small businesses who were already struggling during the pandemic have been set back again by a handful of bad actors engaging in looting and vandalism. I want to personally commit to you that the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce will put in the work to rebuild our City and provide economic and social equality for all.

Our team will continue to work closely with Mayor London N. Breed, Police Chief Bill Scott, and our entire City leadership to protect and restore San Francisco for all of its residents, businesses, workers, and communities. Together, we will make a better San Francisco for us and the next generation.

With respect and gratitude,
Melinda Yee Franklin
Board Chair
San Francisco Chamber of Commerce

Rodney Fong
President & CEO
San Francisco Chamber of Commerce