Friday, February 17, 2023
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News & Notes
Forum: Update on Interstate Bridge Replacement Program

With a full audience in attendance, the experts closest to the Interstate Bridge Replacement Project provided an overview and some insight into how the work is progressing. The critical element for keeping the project on time is the willingness of the state legislature to commit $1 billion, matching Washington State's commitment, and signaling to the federal government that Oregon is serious about building this bridge.

While the Governor did not include the bridge in her recommended budget, she did make 'editorial mention' of it, according to Representative Susan McLain, who co-chairs the Joint Transportation committee and the Joint Interstate 5 Bridge committee. When asked how this project is being prioritized by legislators, compared to other transportation projects, Senator Chris Gorsek (who holds the gavel on the Senate side for the same committees as McLain) said it was a top priority.

After failing to move the bridge project forward ten years ago, it was clear that there is urgency among the legislators on the panel to see the project stay on time and get funded. Westside Economic Alliance supports the effort currently underway to ensure this critical piece of infrastructure is replaced with something that is seismically sound and meets the multi-modal needs of the region. Moving freight to market, employees to jobs and visitors into and out of the Westside would come to a standstill should the current bridge fail.
Best Practice tour highlights the Westside

Earlier this week Hillsboro and Wilsonville were highlighted in a best practices tour hosted by Greater Portland Inc (GPI). GPI is a regional public-private partnership dedicated to creating and expanding jobs and driving tangible regional prosperity. This includes learning best practices of cities across the U.S. and the world and then presenting lessons learned for application to the local economy. It also includes looking around and learning from regional partners.

The tour of the Westside included stops in Hillsboro and Wilsonville. Westside Economic Alliance's Executive Director, Elizabeth Mazzara Myers, had the opportunity to moderate a panel discussion. The panel engaged both elected public-sector leaders, as well as representatives from notable private-sector employers from Southwest Metro cities with the goal of better understanding how current and potential state and local policy decisions affect our communities and our businesses as they locate and grow. 

Panelists included Mayor Julie Fitzgerald of Wilsonville, Councilor Keith Mays of Sherwood, Alex Murta of DW Fritz Automation, Mayor Frank Bubenik of Tualatin and Paula Green of Twist Bioscience.
Upcoming Events: Registration Open
Westside Economic Alliance is pleased to announce a first-time visit from newly elected Congresswoman Andrea Salinas. Salinas represents Oregon's new 6th Congressional District. This district was one of seven new U.S. House districts created as a result of apportionment after the 2020 census. She will join WEA to share her perspective on DC from the eyes of a newcomer.
Thursday March 30: Women in the C-Suite Registration Open.

As WEA celebrates Women’s History Month we will amplify and elevate women in leadership roles to provide inspiration and insight. Being a woman in a leadership position brings unique challenges and opportunities. Join PCC President Dr. Adrien Bennings, PGE CEO Maria Pope and President & Chief Executive Officer for Legacy Health, Kathryn Correia for a lively and engaging conversation about life in the “C-Suite”.
Interested in sponsoring a forum? Contact Dani, WEA's Director of Membership and Events
Meeting Announcement: Land Use & Housing Committee
Send news & updates to [email protected].
Committee & Board Meetings
Upcoming Committee & Board meetings

WEA Board of Directors Meeting: Wednesday Feb 22, 7:30 - 9am.

Land Use & Housing Committee: Wednesday, February 22, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm. Online Only.
TOPIC: Industrial Land Update

Government Relations: Thursday March 8, 7:30 - 9am. In person only at Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.
Want to Join the Golf Committee?

The Westside Scramble is Thursday, July 27th at the Reserve Vineyard & Golf Club with a shotgun start at 12:30. The Committee, chaired by Diego Arguea, meets for the first time this year on Thursday, February 23 at noon at WEA. Reach out to Dani if you would like to join the team!
Looking to get more involved with WEA?

There are lots of opportunities to engage. In addition to our regular Forums, members can join a committee. Come to every meeting, or just pop in for the topics of interest. Reach out to Dani to get connected with Transportation, Government Relations or Land Use & Housing committees.