Chamber of Commerce on ballot questions: No on nurse ratios, yes on trans protection
The Cambridge Chamber of Commerce has voted to oppose Question 1 and support Question 3 ahead of the Nov. 6 election, its board of directors said last week. The chamber did not take a position on Question 2, about regulating campaign contributions by amending the U.S. Constitution to establish that corporations do not have the same Constitutional rights as people.
On Question 1, about government-mandated nurse staffing ratios: “After consultation with our membership, which includes Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance and Spaulding Hospital, and reviewing the negative impacts this proposal will have on our them and our community, we have elected to oppose mandated nurse staffing ratios,” chamber president and chief executive David Maher said. “Our members have concerns over the impact of the proposal, including increased health costs that would harm Cambridge residents, a decrease in access to care, longer emergency room wait times and a reduction in the decision-making power of nurses, all of which would have a negative effect on patient care.”
On Question 3, about prohibiting gender identity discrimination: “Cambridge’s greatness comes from a belief that diversity strengthens us, and in order to cultivate a true melting pot, we must be welcoming and supportive of all individuals regardless of how they identify,” Maher said. “All who live and work here should feel respected and safe. Supporting ballot Question 3 is an indication that we will not tolerate prejudice of any kind.”
While the chamber did not offer an endorsement of either gubernatorial candidate, it opposes Democratic candidate Jay Gonzalez’s proposed taxation of university endowments. “The chamber is strongly opposed to the plan put forth by Jay Gonzalez, as it would stymie the ability of universities to conduct critical research and to offer financial aid to students who need it most. Our higher education institutions fuel not only Cambridge, but Massachusetts at large, and one need not look further than Kendall Square to understand their value to the commonwealth. We applaud Jay’s passion for improving education and transportation, but this proposal is simply misguided,” the chamber said a press release sent Oct. 10. Gonzalez is running against incumbent Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.