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Let me start this post by saying you should Google the words “change school names” and you will find this is an issue all across America. Same strategies. Same tactics. Same type of players. It’s not just here and it’s an indication that someone somewhere is pulling the strings on this issue. We wonder who that someone somewhere is.

Nonetheless, the issue is here and we have to deal with loud mouths interrupting council chambers and some council members calling people who oppose the name change “white supremacists.”

The issue is creating quite a stir and the latest group to wade into this issue is the Chamber of Commerce. They took on this issue for the same reason they always use when they decide to go political — “Companies will not come to Jacksonville if we have Confederate names on school buildings.” Really?

Jacksonville has a lot of reasons why companies do not come here and that’s for another article. Crime is probably the biggest issue but alas — where is the Chamber on that and what are they doing to help fix it?

As a business owner and one who works with many other business owners, I was irritated the Chamber did it again and waded where they didn’t belong. They could learn to let issues outside their purview work itself out and stay in their lane to help local business owners succeed.

But that’s the Chamber for you. Forgetting who they represent. Forging into political discussions. Making decisions for their members. Using the same old excuse over and over again about companies not coming here for this reason and that. The Chamber represents “progressive thoughts” and that is who they pander to.

Here’s what is hysterical about the Chamber’s statement to change “some” schools but not address others. They left Andrew Jackson High School off their hit list. And we think we know why.

They knew that would open a can of worms. They steered far from that one because the next activists issue would be “Change the name of Jacksonville, FL” and the Chamber knew that would be a tough one to support. So they acted all big and mighty about some names while taking a cowardly approach to Andrew Jackson. They pandered. They waded where they should not have gone.

But here’s why we believe they did it:

The CEO of the Chamber — Daniel Davis — is – as rumors have it — planning a run for Mayor. It’s his turn. He had to make a statement for those progressives who are supporting him financially.

He will be a mirror of Mayor Curry because the same progressives are supporting Daniel.

This school name change will work itself out. I believe it will go the way it has gone all over the country – they will change the names. Sorry to have to tell you that. Even if General Lee has been proven a good guy, the progressives refuse to believe it. Remember this article from Lloyd Brown about General Lee?

Our belief is all the community meetings are nothing but smoke and mirrors. That’s how it works. Progressives placate the people and end up doing whatever they want anyway. But…those fighting for what they believe in should continue to do so. It’s your free speech and you deserve to be heard. And maybe just maybe you can prove us wrong on “it’s a done deal.”

I do believe people are tired of the BS, the smoke and mirrors, the Chamber elites, the radicals who call everyone names, and the lack of leadership so abundant in our city and our nation.

I’m not an expert on this subject matter but it looks pretty simple to me:

Change them all. Get it done. No names. Only numbers.

Take away any personality that is associated with a school and while we are at it — any and all government buildings should do it too if they are named after any individual.

If they don’t, they are hypocrites.

We have reached out to the Chamber about their press release announcing this “unanimous” decision by the Board. We heard not all members were there so we are curious as to this statement. Additionally, we asked the Chamber if they surveyed their membership about this issue. We will let you know what they tell us. The Chamber has been on the wrong side of other issues in the past and the latest was their decision to support your tax dollars going to pay for Lot J — which turned out to be a bad deal for taxpayers. remember Lot J

And my fellow business owners, if you are looking for a great organization that truly cares about the small business owner, check out Job Creators Network. They are a fantastic, lean organization that focuses on those who create jobs – you! They support you and are vocal about politics affecting the small business community. We love their tactics!! Check out one of their billboards in Times Square!

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Friends, this post is my opinion and we do welcome yours. We also believe it’s a great day in Jacksonville because Jacksonville is great in spite of any bad news. There is something very special about our hometown! Agree?

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Billie Tucker Volpe Founder of Eye on Jacksonville and Leadership Consultant to CEOs/Executives

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