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A Note from your Executive Director Monday, July 24, 2023
Today's newsletter is a little different.

In the coming months, WEA will be taking a look at the opportunities for smart economic development and growth for our region. We start today with a quick look at the history of our land use system to help ground us in the 2024 Metro Urban Growth Report and how that recommendation will impact development and investments for the coming two plus decades.

What seems clear is this: with Metro's Urban Growth Report on the horizon, and federal and state dollars becoming available through a series of generational investments, we have a small window within which we can make bold, visionary decisions for the direction of our region.

I believe that there is a regional economic ecosystem that we must nurture as conscientiously as we nurture our environmental ecosystem. We need to make smart investments that encourage business growth (and yes, this includes manufacturing), a well-trained and well-paid workforce and a healthy community. We need to ensure regional growth provides opportunities for the middle class to grow and thrive; and provide feed and care to small businesses, innovators and large companies alike, so they can create their own economic ecosystems.

Looking ahead to the Urban Growth Report, we need to work together to ensure that the data that is 'input' into the land use formula reflects the quantitative AND the qualitative. We need both the data trend lines and the bold visioning that the data can't capture to ensure we are adequately preparing for the coming decades.

Want to chat? Drop me a line. Let's find some time on the calendar.
A few playing spots are open for the Westside Scramble! See below for more information.
News & Notes from WEA
BOLD VISION: Meeting the needs of the region
With the next Urban Growth Report scheduled to be adopted by the Metro Council in late 2024, it is important to understand what the report is and how it affects our cities, and our region. As noted on Metro's website, "Under Oregon law, greater Portland must have enough land inside its urban growth boundary for 20 years of growth. Land inside that boundary is available for construction of homes, employment centers and shopping areas for our region’s residents. That means that even if the boundary wasn’t expanded for two decades, all of the growth we expect in greater Portland can fit inside the existing boundary."

Today, let's start with some basics: 2023 marks 50 years since the passage of Senate Bill 100 (which can be found these days in ORS Chapter 197), which created Oregon's land use system. A year later, in 1974, the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) wrote Oregon’s state planning goals to make sure the Senate Bill 100 was implemented as intended. Specifically, SB 100 created LCDC and DLCD (the Department of Land Conservation and Development) for the purpose of carrying out SB 100’s plans and write its goals. When these goals were adopted in December 1974, there were fourteen goals; today there are nineteen goals.

Of note are Goals 2 and 14.

  • Goal 2 states, “To establish a land use planning process and policy framework as a basis for all decisions and actions related to use of land and to assure an adequate factual basis for such decisions and actions”.
  • Goal 14 defines the process of urbanization and, "provide[s] for an orderly and efficient transition from rural to urban land use."

These goals direct the Urban Growth Report setting the standard 20 years’ worth of growth as noted above. The purpose of an Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) is to control urban spread throughout Oregon - they exist in order to carry out Goal 14. The land inside the boundary is available for the construction of homes, employment centers and shopping areas for our region’s residents. Additionally, at a minimum, every six years, Metro Council is directed to forecast growth and development trends and decide whether to expand the boundaries of the UGB to meet its 20-year supply obligations.  As a practical matter, Metro doesn’t decide if the UGB expands; LCDC must approve the expansion.  

As we begin to think about the data that helps shape the report that will ultimately be adopted by Metro, we will take some time to look back at previous reports and the outcomes for the region's industrial and employment lands. Currently we face a shortfall of significant industrial lands to meet the needs for continued economic growth, as we are witnessing vis a vis identifying lands to meet the opportunity for the federal CHIPS and Science Act.

In the coming months, including during our committee meetings, we will be talking with jurisdictions about their own vision for what economic growth might look like for them - and what that means given industrial and employment land availability, where and how workforce housing fits into the picture, and transportation solutions that will be needed to support this growth. A key question to our members, both cities and employers, will be what they see as our shared future including the need for new facilities and where these should be built. And then, translating these visions into new land within the UGB.

A special thanks to our intern Tyler Beecroft who helped with the development of this article.
WEA Members partner for successful workforce program
Today, July 21, Driving Diversity celebrates the graduation of its first Washington County cohort of students. This training program is an innovative initiative designed to increase the diversity among the ranks of Washington County garbage and recycling drivers, and to open the door for participants to step into living-wage careers.

The program is funded by American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars, as part of its workforce development initiatives, making good on the landmark legislation’s promise to help communities recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington will be on hand to deliver the commencement address. Pride Disposal & Recycling President Kristin Leichner (pictured left at the podium) and past Driving Diversity graduate Anastasia Atti will also offer remarks and members of the graduating cohort will be available to take questions from the media. WEA members Republic Services and WM also participated in the program.
Driving Diversity is made possible by the participation of an array of community partners, including the eight members of the Washington County Haulers Association, a group of garbage and recycling hauling companies; as well as Worksystems, Inc and SE Works. The training itself is provided by the Interstate Trucking Academy, the only African American-owned trucking school in the Pacific Northwest. Program graduates who are hired typically start off earning about $60,000 per year, with benefits.
Notices: Opportunities to get engaged & be heard
WEA Committees: Upcoming Dates
Transportation Committee
Wednesday Aug. 9, 7:30 - 9am
TOPIC: Business Mobility with Joaquin Casteneda, Genentech and Todd Duwe, Perlo.
Government Affairs Committee
Thursday Aug. 10, 7:30 - 9am
TOPIC: coming soon
Land Use & Housing Committee
Wednesday Sep. 20, 12 - 1:30pm
TOPIC: Housing Production with Damien Hall, Co-Chair OR Housing Production Advisory Council and Nathan Teske, Bienestar
Committees open to WEA Members only.

A 45-day public comment period for the public review draft Regional Transportation Plan and High Capacity Transit Strategy is now open. The 2023 Regional Transportation Plan provides the opportunity to update the investments the greater Portland region will make in roads, sidewalks, bikeways, transit and freight routes to support communities today and in the future. This update defines a path toward creating a safe, reliable, affordable and climate-friendly transportation system for the next 25 years. CLICK HERE to complete an online survey, a comment form and to find out other ways to provide comment.
Volunteers Needed: Help THPRD on August 12
On Saturday, August 12th Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation will host their TriTogether Pedal, Run, Dip
at HM Terpenning Complex.

Volunteers are still needed to support this fun, safe race where we encourage athletes of all ages and abilities to compete and perform at their best. This is an all-abilities triathlon, designed to be inclusive and promoting positive energy for all participants. 

Volunteers will welcome athletes, provide support with timekeeping and help keep participants on track through the biking and running portions of the event. Youth ages 14+ are welcome to volunteer without a parent present. Lunch will be provided. Sign up to volunteer here!
Are you a WEA Member? Do you want to get a message out about an important program or project? Contact [email protected].
A few playing spots are open for the Westside Scramble!
Thursday, July 27, 2023
12:30 pm start | North Course
The Reserve Vineyards and Golf Club

Join us for the 37th Annual Westside Scramble. The scramble format tournament (par is your friend) is a fun afternoon with 144 players and sponsors with some of the greatest games, competitions and prizes. Enjoy lots of food, drinks and camaraderie throughout the day.

For those of you who want to take it to the next level...the 2023 theme is: Dress like it is 1986 to celebrate the 37 years of the tournament.

Decorate your cart, design your outfits and win prizes for your creativity.
You can still play in the Westside Scramble!

We have some singles and a team open and we would love to get them filled!

Singles are $300 | Doubles are $600 | Team is $1,200

Reach out to Dani to get set up - 503.956.1008.
Want to Volunteer?
Would you like to volunteer?
Do you have a team at your office
who would like to volunteer?
Sponsorships Still Available.
Interested in a Westside Scramble sponsorship?
We have hole sponsorships and
other promotional sponsorships available.
Reach out to Dani for Volunteering & Sponsorship opportunities.
Mark your calendar
WEA is turning 25. Come celebrate with us.
On November 7 Westside Economic Alliance will celebrate our first 25 years.

Mark your calendar and join us as we honor our past and those that helped build WEA into the regional voice we are today. We will also be recognizing an individual (or group of individuals) who are helping us move our region and economy forward.

Sponsorship, registration and program details coming soon.

Or reach out to [email protected]