Friday, February 3, 2023
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Headshot Elizabeth Mazzara Myers
Message from the Executive Director

At the December Board Retreat, it was reaffirmed that WEA members and leadership believe that we need a holistic approach to create smart economic growth. That means, yes, a healthy tax and incentive environment for business. It also means having a well-trained and well-paid workforce as well as a healthy community. Any investment, no matter how big or attractive, that doesn't consider these three elements will, in the long run, not be a smart investment.

And so, as we welcome February, we also welcome Black History Month. A healthy community must be one that celebrates its' diversity. According to a national report from the Census Bureau issued November of 2022, "There were an estimated 140,918 Black- or African American-owned businesses with $141.1 billion in annual receipts, 1.3 million employees, and about $42.2 billion in annual payroll"

This month I challenge you to find and support Black-owned businesses. You can use this link to find some locally owned businesses or this one to find and support Black-owned brands. The City of Tigard also welcomes you to engage with and learn more about Black-owned businesses in our area. Click here to find out more about their schedule of events and how to get involved.

Building a healthy, diverse community is one part of creating a healthy and vibrant westside economy. Please join me in supporting Black-owned businesses this month, and then throughout the rest of 2023. This year's theme is Black Resistance. Today we honor those who have fought for their place in our society, celebrate their success and support their ongoing efforts.
News & Notes
State of the Westside: Real Estate

When panelists were asked to describe the Westside in one word, we heard: Unbelievable, Beautiful, Diverse and Vibrant. At WEA, we think these are accurate adjectives to describe the intentional efforts of our membership and community. Moderated by Blake Hering of Gantry on Thursday January 26, he engaged in conversation with Sara Daley, NAI Elliott - retail, Evan Bernstein, Pacific Northwest Properties - Industrial, Kira Cador, Rembold - multifamily housing and Jennifer Medak, CBRE - office, representing the diverse commercial real estate needs and current conditions to build a vibrant Westside.

Collectively, a call for collaboration among design and engineering firms, local, regional and state jurisdictions as well as investors was reinforced to ensure that we can continue to grow business and housing. Additionally, support for downtown Portland recovery was echoed as a necessity for a successful metro region.
WEA Executive Director appointed to Statewide Tolling Committee

Westside Economic Alliance Director Elizabeth Mazzara Myers has been appointed to the Statewide Tolling Rule Advisory Committee (STRAC). ODOT has created this rulemaking advisory committee to ensure that the voice of the customer will be heard in the rulemaking process with a membership focused on those who use or are impacted by the toll program.
The STRAC will provide input on the following topics, among others: 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.

The committee will help develop Oregon Administrative Rules that determine how customers interact with and use the system and how toll rates are set up and adjusted. The Committee will also provide input on the preliminary I-205 rate schedule. These rules will apply to planned toll projects in the Portland Metro area, as well as any future projects in the state. The rules and rates will be approved by the Oregon Transportation Commission.

The STRAC consists of nearly 20 members from across the state. Committee members will serve for approximately 8-12 months.

Upcoming Events
Register Today: Update on Interstate Bridge Replacement Program

The bridge that connects North Portland with Vancouver, Washington is known as the "only stoplight" on Interstate 5 from Canada to Mexico. It is a critical transportation asset that allows freight, commuters and visitors to move freely up and down the West coast. The first bridge opened to traffic in 1917 and the last major update, including opening the second bridge, was in 1958.

In 2022 WEA had the opportunity of a first look at the project with the Program Administrator Johnson and Representative McLain. We have invited them back to hear how the program is progressing and what we can expect from Salem this session. Featuring Transportation Committee Co-Chairs Representative Susan McLain and Senator Chris Gorsek, Interstate Bridge Replacement Program Administrator Greg Johnson and Senator Lew Frederick who sits on the critical Bi-State Bridge Committee.

Wednesday, February 15 5:30 - 7pm
McMenamin's Wilsonville, the Old Church

Registration required. Members $50, Non-members $65.
Hosted hors d'oeuvres and drink ticket with registration.

Interested in sponsoring this forum? Contact Dani, WEA's Director of Membership and Events.
Women's History Month lineup announced
Thursday March 16: WEA forum with Congresswoman Salinas

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.

Save the Date: Thursday March 16, 7:30 - 9am.
Thursday March 30: Legacy Health's Correia joins Women's CEO Forum

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”. As WEA celebrates Women’s History Month we will amplify and elevate women in leadership roles to provide inspiration and insight.

Save the date: Thursday March 30, 7:30 – 9am.
Dr. Adrien Bennings, President
Portland Community College
Maria Pope, CEO
Portland General Electric
Kathryn Correia, President & CEO
Legacy Health
Interested in sponsoring a forum? Contact Dani, WEA's Director of Membership and Events
Member News
Tigard gains approval to open 500 acres for new housing
Metro voted unanimously this week to allow the City of Tigard to expand the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) on its western edge, a critical milestone for the eventual development of up to 4,500 units of new housing in a wide range of types, sizes, and prices.

The Metro council took the action not by expanding the region’s UGB, but by swapping out a comparable amount of buildable land from inside the existing UGB in Clackamas County. The process, allowed by state law, had not been tried in the Portland metro region before. Metro’s support was based on a plan adopted by the City of Tigard called River Terrace 2.0, which includes around 500 acres near Roy Rogers Road, between Scholls Ferry and Beef Bend roads. The Metro council said it supports growth in areas that are ready to provide much needed housing in the region.

Tigard Mayor Heidi Lueb said in a letter submitted to Metro “If we are to meet Governor Kotek’s ambitious goals for housing production in the state, we will need to start planning for the kinds of communities that are accessible for everyone.” The region’s housing shortage continues to have a profound impact on the economy and livability of the region and state. River Terrace 2.0 is planned to directly address equity, affordability and climate concerns related to new development. “We applaud the Metro council and staff for figuring out a way to get this done,” said Kenny Asher, Tigard’s Community Development Director. “We know that new development is only part of the answer to the housing crisis, but every new unit helps, and our intention is to write codes for this neighborhood that push the envelope on equity and carbon-responsibility.”

In addition to housing, the River Terrace 2.0 plan includes walkable trails, bike paths, parks nature preserves, and shopping areas. The plan was developed with extensive community input and is consistent with Tigard’s vision to be “an equitable community that is walkable, healthy and accessible for everyone.” The community will continue to help shape the neighborhood over the next two years as infrastructure plans are developed, along with a zoning map and new development standards. Housing construction could begin as soon as spring 2026.
Wilsonville launches 5-part DEI lecture series
To educate the community by shedding light on the history and/or the lived experiences of people in historically-marginalized segments of our population, the City of Wilsonville’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee has scheduled a free five-event lecture series to be held at locations throughout Wilsonville.

The series begins on Thursday, Mar. 2, at 6:30 pm at the Hilton Garden Inn. (30800 SW Parkway Ave.) with “Displacing Black Portland: A History of Housing Discrimination,” presented by Zachary Stocks of Oregon Black Pioneers. Stocks’ program explains how generations of housing discrimination continues to shape Portland’s demographics, and Black Portlanders’ opportunities within a rapidly gentrifying city.

“Our objective with this series is to help people better understand the lived experience of their neighbors,” said Haider, the DEI Committee Chair. “Knowledge is a valuable tool to help people overcome fear and misinformation, and to hopefully help us build a stronger community.”

The Hilton Garden Inn is hosting the first two events in the series. Food and drink will be available for purchase at the hotel during the two presentations. Later events include complimentary refreshments. 
Send news & updates to [email protected].
Welcome new members
From clinical care and peer support programs to housing, we provide resources so people seeking mental health care can develop the tools to thrive, not just survive.

A future where everyone seeking mental health care can live the life they choose. New Narrative was formerly known as Luke Dorf.
Bienestar was founded in 1981 with a mission to provide quality housing to farmworkers and their families due to substandard living conditions in migrant camps. The first community, Elm Park, was built in 1983 and is located in Forest Grove. Bienestar builds housing, hope, and community for the wellbeing of Latinxs, immigrants, and all families in need.
Committee & Board Meetings
Upcoming Committee & Board meetings

Transportation Committee: Wed. Feb. 8, 7:30 - 9am. HYBRID.
  • A look at the Governor's transportation budget with Lindsay Baker, ODOT’s Assistant Director for Government and External Relations
  • Update from WEA Executive Director on State Toll Rulemaking Advisory Committee

Government Relations Committee: Thu. Feb. 9, 7:30 - 9am. ONLINE ONLY.
  • Update from Clackamas County on their legislative agenda
  • A look at the Governor's Budget

WEA Board of Directors Meeting: Wed. Feb 22, 7:30 - 9am.
Looking to get more involved with WEA?

There are lots of opportunities to engage. In addition to our regular Breakfast 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.

Love golf? Help with next year's Westside Scramble or help build our ever-growing membership.