Two weeks ago, Quorum, the Twin Cities’ LGBTA business association, unveiled its new, re-branded look (and it’s new logo, above). Even though the group is re-styling itself as a “business community,” instead of a more traditional “chamber of commerce,” Quorum officials haven’t said the re-branding will significantly change the organization’s advocacy and education work.
(Disclosure: TheColu.mn is a member of Quorum)
Quorum will continue to offer its members many kinds of professional development trainings and business advice, Executive Director Sam McClure told a members’ reception two weeks ago that the organization will be re-focusing its energies on encouraging larger corporations to include LGBT-owned businesses in their supply chains.
According to Kathy Davis, President of Quorum’s board, the organization is also involved in advocating for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act among area businesses and elected officials, working both on its own and in conjunction with the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. In an interview, McClure also stressed the organization’s role in helping LGBT employee organizations at large Minnesota corporations advocate for queer-friendly policies in the workplace.
“The point is to advance workplace and business equality,” McClure told TheColu.mn. “We do a lot of networking employee groups together…to talk about best practices so they can make changes within their company structures.”
Why not go further? The US Chamber of Commerce forms one of the largest lobby groups on Capitol Hill, and was rumored to be very active in last year’s battle over health care reform legislation. In an acronym: IRS.
McClure was very careful to frame Quorum’s activities as “advocacy,” not “lobbying” – a political activity the non-profit group is not supposed to engage in, and which McClure says it avoids.