Friday, Jan. 21, 2022
News & Notes
Oregon legislators give their perspectives on issues
   Sixteen legislators joined WEA for a Virtual Legislative Reception this week.
   WEA asked them to address three specific questions in their remarks.
   The first question focused on what their priorities are to ensure not only that there is more affordable housing in the region, but developable land too.
   WEA Executive Director Gail Greenman's second question of legislators was what they would like to see accomplished in regards to improvements to Highway 217 and 99W.
   Lastly, what would they like to see accomplished in the session in regards to the I-5 Boone Bridge in Wilsonville and I-205?
   Many on the panel provided legislation ideas they would like to see passed in these areas - recognizing the connected systems of jobs, housing, and transportation.
   There was talk about how to wisely spend the federal infrastructure dollars and make sure funds are spread across the state.
   Representative Ken Helm talked about electrification of freight vehicles and where these vehicles may be housed in the future, which could affect land use laws.
   STEM education was one of Senator-designate Janeen Sollman's priorities, and Representative Lisa Reynolds highlighted childcare needs for the state's workforce.
   Representatives Sheri Schouten and Courtney Neron spoke about workforce development, while Representative Anna Scharf pointed out that the upcoming short session was designed for budget and technical tweaks or changes from legislation passed in the previous session.
   To listen to more of the legislators' responses, please visit the WEA YouTube Channel.
Land Use & Housing and Transportation committees hear from DLCD
   WEA hosted a joint meeting of its Land Use & Housing and Transportation committees this week, with speakers from the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD).
   DLCD's Bill Holstrom, Evan Manvel, and Kevin Young talked about the DLCD's Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities Rulemaking process.
   Young said the state is behind in its climate targets, and the Governor has directed state agencies to find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
   The DLCD is focused on eight metro areas in the state where transportation rules are being changed.
   For the Portland metro region, it seems the Climate Smart Strategy Metro adopted in 2014 covers a lot of the same ground.
   Under the DLCD's Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities Rulemaking, the agency is focused on planning for pedestrians, bikes, and public transit.
   It's encouraging connectivity, safety, and providing access to a wide array of destinations.
   The rulemaking is also focused on being climate friendly, serving neighborhoods that are historically underserved, and providing better access to key destinations, like schools, shopping, and employment centers.
   There is an opportunity to give feedback before February 3.
   Its first hearing will be on March 31 with the rules adoption expected in May.
   To see the DLCD presenters' slide deck, click here.
Metro President provides a "State of the region" address
  This afternoon Metro President Lynn Peterson gave her "State of the region" address during a City Club of Portland online broadcast.
   Peterson talked about the challenges Metro is facing with the homeless crisis.
   She shined a light on Metro's partnerships to provide hundreds of shelter beds and nearly 3,000 affordable housing units.
   Peterson also shared how the regional government is working with homeless agencies to clean homeless camps and provide garbage collection services.
   Marcus Mundy of the Coalition of Communities of Color moderated the questions asked from the audience.
   Peterson was asked about equity, the workforce being used to clean up garbage, collaboration, transportation, resiliency, the health and safety of Metro venues, and the "People for Portland."
   When it comes to decision making, she said Metro uses two lenses - an equity lens and a climate lens.
   Peterson spoke about how the regional government is always looking at the long term, but right now it is dealing with the homeless crisis in the short term.
   To listen to "The state of the region," visit the City Club's YouTube channel.
Odds & Ends
  • Western Avenue in Beaverton is scheduled to be closed this weekend. Visit the Beaverton website to see the details.

  • With at-home COVID testing widely available now, the data for the Omicron variant isn't as clear as it could be, but thanks to Clean Water Services, public health officials can get a better picture. See this KPTV report to learn more.

  • OHSU has appointed Dr. Marie Chisholm-Burns as its new vice president, provost. She is currently at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and will join OHSU on July 1.

  • Seven Portland area students have topped the list for the nation's best science and math scholars. Six are from Washington County - three from the Beaverton School District. To read about their accomplishments, visit the Oregonlive website. Congratulations to all.
Events coming up
Wed. 1/26 at 7:30 a.m. - The WEA Board of Directors will meet virtually.

Th. 1/27 at 6:00 p.m. - Mayor Steve Callaway and the Hillsboro City Council will be hosting the "State of the City" address on Facebook live.

Wed. 2/9 at 7:30 a.m. - The Transportation Committee will meet virtually. All members are welcome to attend. For more information, contact Gail Greenman.

Th. 2/10 at 7:30 a.m. - The Government Relations Committee will meet virtually. All members are welcome to attend. For more information, contact Gail Greenman.

Wed. 2/16 at 12:00 p.m. - The Land Use & Housing Committee will meet virtually. All members are welcome to attend.

Mon 2/21 - Presidents Day holiday