Greenwood Chamber Members Voice Frustration With Board

Tuesday, May 9th 2017, 10:59 pm
By: Justin Shrair

Members of the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce took to the streets Tuesday night to protest ongoing issues between them and the board.

The protesters said they’re frustrated with many issues, including feeling ignored.

"We’re out here to peacefully protest because the membership of the Greenwood Chamber has some serious concerns and our questions are not being answered, and, in fact, we're just being ignored," said City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper.

Hall-Harper - the membership chair for the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce – was one of about a dozen members who marched on the corner of East Archer and North Greenwood, voicing their frustrations.

"We requested bylaws to ensure that the board is operating on bylaws,” she said. “We have concerns about the day-to-day operations. We have concerns about the financial situation," Hall-Harper said.

Protesters held signs that read "Greenwood Chamber Your Members Matter" and "Transparency is what we need" while holding up board members’ photos.

Hall-Harper said they also believe the chamber is not a strong voice for the black community.

"They are ignoring the black community. Some of the tenants out here, several of the tenants have left, black tenants, and, for the most part, it seems they’re only moving in white tenants," she said.

She said the membership body should have some say over the board members.

The protesters said they believe the community, as well as the members, are not being properly represented.

'We're sick of you kicking our people out. You're not doing what you're supposed to do. The Chamber is historic and it was put together to help African Americans during the time of Jim Crow, so we just wanna preserve it," Nehemiah Frank said.

We reached out to the board and have not yet heard back.