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Wednesday, September 13, 2023

A Note from your Executive Director

If you have been to a forum anytime in 2023, you've heard me ask panelists to, "Use ONE WORD to describe the Westside."

Why one word?


I started asking this question at our Legislative Reception back in January. I wanted to get a sense of how legislators were approaching the session and knew I would ask them the same question when session was over to see how their view had changed.


Asking someone to use a single word to encompass a region - or a state when I ask about Oregon - is more than just a rhetorical device. It is an effort to capture something more - something bigger. Are people feeling hopeful or frustrated? Are they feeling heard or ignored? Are we headed in the right direction or the wrong direction?


If I were to answer that question today, right now as I write this, my one word for the region would be Déjà vu.

Let me explain. As we prepare for WEA's 25th Anniversary we are digging deep into the archives and pulling out reports and testimony from decades past. The repetitiveness is unnerving, year in and year out, decade after decade, the same messages being delivered.

There is the ever louder call for more industrial land.

The understanding that manufacturing is critical in order to grow the middle class.

The struggle of our local jurisdictions to grow their revenue base, given the stranglehold of measures 5 and 50, to keep up with service demands.

We have documents from 22 years ago, and from 10 years ago, and from 5 years ago all delivering the same message: the Westside needs room to grow and should be directing that growth, whether through expansion of the growth boundary, through smart land swaps or through well placed employment lands. No one knows the Westside better than the businesses, jurisdictions and residents of the Westside.


As we head into autumn, I hope you are taking time in the coming months to join the critical conversations we are hosting at WEA. Our committee topics and forum panels have been curated to get to the heart of what we need to feed and care for our economic ecosystem - which in turn provides the supports we need for a healthy community and a growing middle class. (see below for several opportunities to engage)


I am hopeful that by the end of 2023, my one word will be forward looking. In the meantime, what is your ONE WORD? Please join us, take a moment to let us know. We will be reflecting back on these words during out November State of the Westside report.

Join us, activate your membership, reach out to me directly. Let's work together to ensure the voice of the westside is unified, strong, and hopeful.

September meetings & forums

Featuring Mayor Lacey Beaty

with Beaverton's Ec. Dev. Manager Mike Williams, Long Range Planning Manager Brian Martin & Gov't Relations Gwenn Baldwin.

Register here.

with Damien Hall, Co-Chair Gov's Housing Production Advisory Council;

Partner, Dunn Carney LLP and

Nathan Teske, Executive Director Bienestar.

Register here.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

8 - 9am, Online Only.

Free to WEA Members

$10 to non-WEA Members


Thursday, September 21, 2023 | 7:30 - 9am

Embassy Suites Tigard

Washington Square


News & Notes

North Plains wins state grant

Thanks to a $210,000 state grant, North Plains will begin concept planning for an Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) expansion. Awarded by the Oregon Transportation and Growth Management program, this grant will allow the city to begin planning for, "residential and employment land areas and uses, the transportation network, utilities, parks and trails, and funding sources."

According to their website, "North Plains is the fastest-growing city in the Portland area, and the PSU Population Research Center, the state-recognized population forecaster, predicts that North Plains will grow from the current 3,410 residents to 7,076 by 2040. All Oregon cities are required by state law to plan for and accommodate a 20-year supply of land for predicted population growth."

The city will be working to ensure the public is engaged in the process with online and in person events being planned.

Click here for more information.

FINAL OPPORTUNITY: CFEC Public Comment period closes Sept. 17

According to the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD), the public comment period for the Climate Friendly and Equitable Cities (CFEC) draft rules is about to close. The department released the September 8 draft rule amendments for the CFEC program. The public can review the amendments on the CFEC rulemaking web page.

According to an email from DLCD, "The amendments are proposed revisions to the Transportation Planning Rules (Oregon Administrative Rules 660-012), and include:

  • Clarifications and corrections to rules the commission adopted in July 2022; and
  • Adjustments the commission adopted as temporary rules in April 2023, including revisions to the temporary rules.

The amendments are similar to what was presented to the Rulemaking Advisory Committee this week. However, they now reflect changes based on the discussion at that meeting, as well as additional conversations and input from local partners and community members."

The public can submit testimony and recommendations until 11:59 p.m. on September 17, 2023 via email [email protected].  The Land Conservation and Development Commission will decide on the rule amendments at its meeting on November 2-3, 2023.

August proves busy for Rep. Bonamici

The August in-district work period was busy for Congresswoman Bonamici, including two Cabinet Secretaries in Oregon. With Secretary Vilsack (Agriculture), she discussed wildfire prevention and the upcoming Farm Bill; with Secretary Becerra (Health and Human Services), the Representative highlighted the work Beaverton School District is doing to save lives through fentanyl awareness education. 

Bonamici delivered the keynote address for the NW Institute of Addictions Studies Conference, where she was encouraged by the conversations and appreciative of the health professionals working to meet the needs of Oregonians. Congresswoman Bonamici understands the need for more affordable and supportive housing, and she visited Heartwood Commons in Aloha and the site of the future Hillsboro Year-Round Shelter.


She met with local leaders about funding to help THPRD operate as an emergency shelter site, and she continued to meet with businesses of all types and sizes, from Analog Devices to Family Café in Beaverton. Thanks also to the Congresswoman for her visit with the Westside Economic Alliance on Thursday August 31.

Rep. Salinas looks to invest in Oregon

As a member of Congress, Representative Andrea Salinas (OR-06) is working to ensure that Oregon workers reap the benefits of three historic laws passed in the 117th Congress: the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act. To that end, Salinas spent her summer touring local business, hosting roundtable discussions with stakeholders, meeting with cabinet secretaries, and taking advantage of other opportunities to advocate for Oregonians’ interests as federal investments pour into the state.


The CHIPS and Science Act’s $52.7 billion for semiconductor research, development, and manufacturing includes a sizable chunk for workforce development which will bolster Oregon’s most productive manufacturing sector. As a member of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Salinas will continue to use her position to draw as many dollars as possible to Oregon.


The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will also contribute to the modernization of Oregon’s workforce by spurring large-scale improvement projects that require an equally large, highly-skilled workforce – not to mention that President Biden requires every product used for an infrastructure project to be made in America. Salinas will always advocate for domestic manufacturing, especially in Oregon.


Lastly, the Inflation Reduction Act will supercharge domestic energy production and, thus, supercharge Oregon’s energy workforce. This law puts workers first, requiring businesses to pay good wages and offer apprenticeships in order to access critical tax incentives. Skilled workers in Oregon will power the clean energy economy, and Salinas will champion their interests in the halls of Congress.


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