Friday, March 18, 2022
News & Notes
We're back! WEA to resume in-person forums
   After two years of virtual meetings and events, WEA is excited to announce it will resume hosting in-person forums come April and has forum sponsorship opportunities available.
   WEA is planning two forums next month.
   The first will be on Monday, April 11 and feature the candidates for Metro President - Lynn Peterson and Alisa Pyszka.
   On Thursday, April 28, WEA will host a Breakfast Forum with the candidates for Washington County Chair - Kathryn Harrington and Beach Pace.
   You can also mark your calendars for May 26, when WEA will host its annual Mayors forum.
   Logistics and details are still being ironed out, but registration for the April 11 event will be in your email inbox soon, or you can check the organization's website as well.
   If you are interested in forum sponsorship opportunities, please contact Teresa Dunham.
Recapping the short 2022 legislative session
   During a virtual Legislative Recap this week, WEA and Vision Action Network had the opportunity to hear from local legislators about the recent short session.
   Participating in the event were State Senators Akasha Lawrence Spence and Janeen Sollman, State Representatives Maxine Dexter, Ken Helm, Susan McLain, Courtney Neron, and Ron Noble.
   The legislators talked about a variety of topics, including:

  • Bridging the gap in healthcare coverage;
  • Future Ready Oregon - funding for workforce training, including in healthcare, behavioral health, construction, and manufacturing;
  • Childcare;
  • Support to help retain and attract educators;
  • Funding to help those on low incomes be able to afford air conditioning;
  • Orphaned highways;
  • Overtime for farm workers;
  • The Interstate Bridge Replacement Program;
  • Access to broadband;
  • Housing solutions;
  • Policing;
  • Addressing situations where a pregnant woman ends up in an out of network hospital, while in labor;
  • Veterans health benefits;
  • Eliminating the Corporate Activity Tax for struggling local pharmacies;
  • Education standards and curriculum transparency;
  • The Equity Investment Act;
  • The Transforming Justice bill;
  • Voter registration;
  • Attracting film and arts industry projects to the state;
  • Addiction support;
  • And more.

   Representative McLain stressed that even though the legislative session is over, work is still ongoing and the need for collaboration is great.
   To view a recording of the event, please visit Vision Action Network's YouTube channel.
State leadership changing, evolving
Oregon Legislature
   More and more headlines are showing state legislators are leaving office.
   The Hill reports at least 30 state Senate presidents, House speakers or majority leaders across the country will not be back, including Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney, who currently tops the list for longest state legislative leader in the nation at 19 years.
   Others like Courtney are retiring, but as KGW's Pat Dooris reports, some legislators say they can't afford to stay in office.
   Three female lawmakers, all committee chairs, including Westside legislator Representative Rachel Prusak, brought the issue to light recently, saying the pay isn't sustainable.
   The pay is also seen as a barrier for those from underserved communities wanting to serve, but unable to afford it.
   During the recent short session, lawmakers considered legislation to increase their pay, which is under $33,000 per year, but it didn't make the cut, and it died in committee.
To read more, turn to Pamplin Media.
Talking middle housing with local planners
   The Land Use & Housing Committee met this week with Forest Grove's Dan Riordan, Tigard's Schuyler Warren, and Wilsonville's Daniel Pauly.
   All three are planners for their respective cities and able to talk in detail about how their jurisdictions are considering middle housing from HB 2001.
   Warren said Tigard was already in the midst of creating middle housing opportunities when HB 2001 passed.
   Riordan said Forest Grove has something similar to the middle housing cottage clusters, but the units are larger than what would be under HB 2001.
   He said a lot of community members are interested in the concept, but he said there is a misconception that it's affordable housing.
   Pauly said the middle housing legislation makes one think differently about density.
   He said Wilsonville has done some outreach and he said the feedback is interesting.
   Some residents expressed concerns about being able to have big family gatherings and questioned parking.
   He also anticipates the application and review process will take longer with more boxes to check.
   Riordan said his team is about to start the adoption process in Forest Grove.
   To see Warren's slide deck for Tigard, click here.
Transportation Committee receives an update on the I-5 Rose Quarter project
   The Transportation Committee recently met with the Oregon Department of Transportation's (ODOT) Megan Channell and Rose Gerber, along with David Evans & Associates' Alex Cousins.
   All three talked about the I-5 Rose Quarter project, which is rated as the 28th worst bottleneck in the nation and deemed unreliable.
   Under HB 2017 (the Transportation Bill), ODOT has plans to improve the freeway between I-405 and I-84.
   The proposal includes auxiliary lanes, a new southbound onramp from Broadway, full shoulders, and safety and seismic improvements.
   It will not add capacity however.
   A big part of the project will be capping the highway to improve neighborhood streets, providing multimodal connectivity and adding development space to the community by having the ability to build three-story buildings on it.
   This project will also provide opportunities for contractors from underserved populations and bring them into the process sooner (during the design phase).
   ODOT hopes to see construction start in late 2023.
   To see the slide deck from the presentation, click here.
Odds & Ends

  • Our friends in North Plains are hosting a "State of the City" event in the Jessie Mays Community Center on Wednesday, March 30 at 6:00 p.m. To register, click here. TVCTV will also provide a live broadcast as well.

  • There are a couple of changing faces in key leadership roles on the Westside. Beaverton School District has announced it will have a new Superintendent come July. The district hired Dr. Gustavo Balderas, whose career includes working for the Hillsboro School District. Click here to read more.

  • Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District (THPRD) has hired a new CFO. Jared Isaksen previously worked for the City of Tigard, so he may be a familiar face to those on the Westside. Click here to learn more.

  • Do you know a road in Washington County that needs a little love? Tell the county about it for its annual Road Maintenance Program.

  • Cheers to CBRE for being recognized for leading sales globally in 2021. According to Real Capital Analytics, CBRE was the top broker in the Americas, EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), and Asia Pacific.

  • Congratulations to Westside high school basketball teams who won state championships this past week. Way to go, Beaverton Girls (6A), Tualatin Boys (6A), and Wilsonville Boys (5A).

  • As we head into the weekend, please note WEA's newsletter will be on spring break the next two Fridays, but we wanted to leave you with some good cheer. Below is a video of visiting Hoosier cheerleaders Cassidy Cerny and Nathan Paris saving the day at Portland's Moda Center yesterday during March Madness. Enjoy!
Events coming up
Wed. 3/23 at 7:30 a.m. - The WEA Board of Directors will meet virtually.

Tu. 3/29 at 12:00 p.m. - Beaverton will host a virtual "State of the City" address. Click here to learn more.

Wed. 3/30 at 6:00 p.m. - North Plains Mayor Teri Lenahan will be delivering her "State of the City" address. The event is in-person at the Jessie Mays Community Center, but requires an RSVP. It will also be available through TVCTV.

Fri. 4/8 at 12:00 p.m. - The Golf/Fundraising Committee will meet to talk about sponsorships and the upcoming Westside Golf Scramble, which is on Monday, July 25 at Langdon Farms Golf Club. If you'd like more information about sponsorship, please contact Teresa Dunham.

Mon. 4/11 at 7:30 a.m. - An in-person Breakfast Forum with Metro President candidates Lynn Peterson and Alisa Pyszka. More information to come soon.

Wed. 4/13 at 7:30 a.m. - The Transportation Committee will meet. For more information, contact Teresa Dunham.