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Jackie S.
Democrat CA 14

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  • In Recognition of the 100Th Anniversary of the Founding of the South San Francisco Chamber of Commerce

    by Representative Jackie Speier

    Posted on 2013-02-26

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    SPEIER of california in the house of representatives Tuesday, February 26, 2013 Ms. SPEIER. Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the one hundredth birthday of the South San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. It has a remarkable record of leadership during times of enormous change within this self-described Industrial City.

    One hundred years ago, South San Francisco had approximately 4,000 residents. Its founders were ranchers, meat packers, and stockyard owners, but the remaining population included laborers, lumber yard owners, dry good merchants, bar owners, and all of the other entrepreneurs of an early 20th century, developing community. It was from this rich mix of Americana that the Chamber of Commerce sprang, and it has been devoted to the success of the community ever since.

    World War II brought enormous changes to the Industrial City. Steel mills sprang up and labor poured into South San Francisco to meet the demands of shipbuilding around San Francisco Bay. After the war, neighborhoods followed as the steel mills switched to non-war production and the middle class found new homes and new jobs. Food processors, warehousing and services related to nearby San Francisco airport, such as freight forwarding, flourished. Both during this period and since this time, the Chamber of Commerce represented business before the City Council, and many Chamber members served in positions of leadership throughout the city.

    The transformation of South San Francisco began with the birth of the biotechnology industry in the 1980s. The dormant steel mills were torn down, and new offices and laboratories sprouted like daisies across the eastern side of the city. This renaissance was supported by an active business community led by the Chamber of Commerce. Before the council and before the citizens of South San Francisco, the Chamber made the case that the future of the city was in science and technology. The Chamber also urged renovations of Grand Avenue, the building of public improvements, and encouraged city leaders to rebuild South San Francisco as a cosmopolitan community.

    As I can attest from personal experience, the schools of South San Francisco are central to the community. The South San Francisco Chamber of Commerce for many years has organized generous scholarships for graduating high school seniors and assisted in raising funds for special school events.

    Today, the South San Francisco Chamber of Commerce is a key point of contact in the economic life of the city. Developers, investors, and existing businesses appreciate Chamber support before the city council and state and federal officeholders. The importance of the Chamber can be seen by the longevity of some of its most prominent members, including the California Water Service Company, 67 years; Pacific Gas & Electric Company, 67 years; Poetsch & Peterson, 67 years; Galli's Sanitary Bakery, 67 years; South City Lumber & Supply, 67 years; Bronstein Music, 65 years; Kaiser Permanente, 64 years; Giffra Enterprises, 64 years; Giorgi Brothers, 64 years; Clearlite Trophies, 57 years; and Poletti Realty, 57 years.

    Mr. Speaker, I ask that the House of Representatives join with me today to celebrate one hundred years of leadership by the South San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. While there have been many physical changes to the city during this time, the Chamber is an example of the most enduring characteristic of South San Francisco--it is welcoming. We honor this tradition and hope for the Chamber's continued success in the years ahead.


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