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Wednesday December 6, 2023

WEA hosts final forum of 2023

Westside Economic Alliance hosted its' final forum of the year at a December 4th luncheon. This year's State of the Westside was moderated by Espousal Strategies CEO Johnell Bell and used the organization's 25th anniversary to anchor the conversation.

First, taking a look back at development of Intel's Ronler acres, the full house had the opportunity to hear how this region took calculated risks for what turned out to be a great reward. Local jurisdictions used smart planning and economic development tools like Urban Renewal districts while the private sector, in particular PacTrust, worked to bring together a patchwork of landowners to make way for Intel's early growth. The second panel took a look ahead at what our region might look like at the end of the next quarter century.

The conversation then ranged from what it would means to prepare for future growth through planning and public-private alignment of vision to what it means to truly think outside the box when thinking about infrastructure and future city growth. Across the board, panelists agreed that public-private partnerships are critical in order to realize the next big things for the region.

In order to build full-service communities of the future, both public and private sector panelists made clear there must be effective economic development financing tools from Enterprise Zones to Strategic Investment Programs. As the state legislature gets ready to convene in Salem, it was a timely delivery of the message that jurisdictions need to be able to offer well-thought incentives in order to play a proactive role in creating innovative and middle-class growing public-private partnerships.

A view from the podium at WEA's State of the Westside forum held December 4, 2023.

The program included (L to R) Mickey Caverly (Intel), Elizabeth Mazzara Myers (WEA), Representative Susan McLain (HD29), Johnell Bell (Espousal Strategies), Sam Briggs (PacTrust), Mayor Lacey Beaty (City of Beaverton) and Dan Dias (City of Hillsboro).

Thanks to Our Forum Sponsor

Kaiser Permanente

WEA is working for a vibrant economic environment which includes healthy communities, a well-trained and well-paid workforce. Want to join the conversation?

Contact: [email protected]

News & Notes

State Commission considers draft tolling rules

The Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) will consider draft rules as recommended by the Statewide Toll Rulemaking Advisory Committee (STRAC) at their December 11 regular meeting. Commissioners will receive a copy of the draft rules along with information outlining the rulemaking engagement process and key issues identified by STRAC members. Westside Economic Alliance executive director, Elizabeth Mazzara Myers, was appointed to, and served as a member of, the STRAC.

These rules are not specific to any single proposed tolling project - rather the STRAC reviewed and commented on Oregon Administrative Rules that determine how customers interact with and use the system and how toll rates are set up and adjusted. These rules will apply to planned toll projects in the Portland Metro area, as well as any future projects in the state. Ultimately the rules and rates will be set by the OTC.

Among other issues the STRAC provided input on the following topics:

  • Customer accounts
  • Toll transactions and due date
  • Civil penalties and administrative fees
  • Dispute provisions
  • Low-income/middle-income discounts
  • Vehicle rates and exemptions
  • General rate structure/schedule
  • Rate review and adjustment

In addition to the draft rules, the OTC will review a report on the public feedback received. The public can comment on the draft rules using an online form which can be found here.

Upcoming WEA Events

Join us at the WEA Office Holiday Open House for refreshments and charcuterie.

Complimentary for all WEA Members.



Upcoming WEA Events

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