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How Local Politics Shape Federal PolicyBusiness, Power, and the Environment in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles$
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Sarah S. Elkind

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834893

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807869116_elkind

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Influence Through Cooperation

Influence Through Cooperation

The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and Air Pollution Control in Los Angeles, 1943–1954

(p.52) Chapter Two Influence Through Cooperation
How Local Politics Shape Federal Policy

Sarah S. Elkind

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses the enormous influence enjoyed by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce (LAACC) over air pollution policy in Los Angeles County. For decades, city and then county officials treated the LAACC as the representative of the public interest. The business organization achieved this status by assisting and supporting public officials as they tackled what became a chronic urban problem. The LAACC anticipated public policy needs and endorsed early proposals for uniform, countywide regulation. The group secured further legitimacy by enforcing voluntary smoke reductions by its members and sponsoring air pollution research and state legislation. Its proactive responses to air pollution were something of an anomaly; in other cities, business and manufacturing organizations had fought soot and smoke reduction on the grounds that reducing smoke would hinder profits and productivity.

Keywords:   Los Angeles Area, Chamber of Commerce, air pollution policy, LAACC, public interest, chronic urban problem

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