The Salt Lake Chamber is partnering with the Sutherland Institute, a conservative think tank, to host a series of discussions about the economy.
The discussions are called the Utah Prosperity Forum, and the first one will be held Nov. 14 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Sutherland Institute, 307 W. 200 South, Suite 5005, in Salt Lake City. Mark Lange, executive director of the Edward Lowe Foundation, based in Cassopolis, Mich., will discuss "economic gardening," in which communities invest capital and resources in local entrepreneurs. People interested in attending must RSVP at www.sutherland institute.org or call 801-355-1272.
Stan Rasmussen, the Sutherland Institute's public affairs manager, said the forum was developed to facilitate dialogue about the issues surrounding the state's economy. The forum was
not triggered by the current recession, Rasmussen said, "but we sure hope (the forum) is relevant, in particular right now."
The Sutherland Institute promotes free-market principals. But it may be most noted for introducing a document adopted in 2006 by the Kanab City Council touting the "natural family" and defining marriage as "ordained by God" between a man and woman who are open to a "full quiver of children," including young women who aspire to becoming "wives, homemakers and mothers."
Arthur Frommer, author of "Frommer's Travel Guides," said the resolution was "homophobic" and called for tourists to boycott Kanab.
Why would a local chamber of commerce, which promotes business expansion, want to partner with the Sutherland Institute?
Riggs said the Sutherland Institute approached the chamber and is footing the cost of the events."We look at the topic, not the group," Riggs said. "And they're not controversial in everything. We think we have a good common ground on these issues."