Monthly News and Updates

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

It is "that" time of year when the pace of politics across our region, and state, kicks up a notch. We are deep in the State of the City schedule with Hillsboro's last month, Beaverton's last night, and more populating our schedules in the coming months (see below for calendar of announced dates). The legislature is close to ending session with some major legislation moving to the Governor's Desk. And the primary ballot (Election Day is May 21) is shaping up with levies, initiatives and candidates.

Which is one of the reasons we chose next week, March 14, to host our 2024 Policy Conference. We are honored to bring together three panels of some of our state's best and brightest to talk about what it looks like to create collaborations that allow us to direct our growth.

We will end with our moderators and myself sitting down to pull out the learnings from the day - which will provide the direction for a short paper we will release after the conference. Among the questions we hope to begin to answer is what our region should look like in 25 years. Who will live here, where will they work and what kind of work do they do? What infrastructure investments will we have made that will have come to fruition by then? Will we see an increase or decrease in income inequality as a result of some of these choices?

And of course, what role can and should WEA play to help realize a vibrant and accessible economy for our region. Among the challenges we face as an organization is how we use our convening power to leverage real life collaborations to positively impact our regional growth. We expect that our 2024 Policy Conference will continue to provide the direction we need to identify where we should be focusing.

I hope to see you there.


WEA Policy Conference - Register Today

Register Today

WEA Committees: Open to members only

This Thursday

As we consider transportation projects and regional funding needs, it's critical that we hear directly from the agency charged with providing bus, light rail and commuter rail service. TriMet Senior Planner Grant O'Connell will be joining to give an update on proposed transit service changes in the Westside as part of TriMet's Forward Together Service Concept, as well as an update on what to expect with TriMet's Forward Together 2.0, which will provide an aspiration vision for the future of transit service throughout the region.


Click here to reach Dani.

Register for the Committee Meeting

CANCELED: Committee Meeting

In lieu of Policy Conference the March 14 Government Relations Committee meeting will be canceled.

We look forward to seeing you at the April 11 meeting.

Member News

New Max station opens: faster route to airport on red line will open Summer 2024

Tri-met's newest MAX station is open. MAX Red Line trains will begin serving the brand-new Gateway North MAX Station on Monday, March 4. Trains heading toward City Center from the Portland Airport will go through the station for more efficient trips. 

The new station was built during the weeks-long disruption to the MAX Blue, Green and Red lines that started back in January. Most of the work during the disruption the "A Better Red" project that is intended improve the reliability of the entire MAX system. And when completed in August, it will also extend Red Line service by 10 stations west to Hillsboro.

As Tri-Met works to complete the line out to the westside, the MAX Blue Line will be disrupted between Hatfield Government Center and Orenco Station from March 16-24 for additional work on the west side. Find more information

PCC Launches initiative to simplify college access for Beaverton High School grads

Portland Community College has entered into a direct admissions agreement to seamlessly admit all graduating seniors from Beaverton High School and its Early College High School. This pilot program will allow Beaverton seniors from the 2024-25 school year to be directly enrolled at PCC, starting in the fall of 2025. 

This initiative, aimed at breaking down barriers to post-secondary opportunities, specifically targets vulnerable and under-represented students, including low-income, first-generation, foster youth, and those from minority backgrounds.

“The move is a significant step toward creating equality of opportunity for students in underserved communities,” said PCC Executive Dean for K12 and Community Partnerships Vicky López Sánchez. “By streamlining the admissions process, PCC aims to save students valuable time and remove the potential barrier of a daunting application process. This approach ensures that students, often overwhelmed by the complexities of taking their ‘first step,’ can embark on their educational journey with the assurance of admission to PCC.”

This effort fits into PCC’s mission of delivering access to a quality education. The state’s largest community college has numerous partnerships with local school districts and agreements with key four-year institutions to make degree completion and career technical training more within reach for students. These include dual enrollment agreements with Portland State University, Oregon State University, Oregon Institute of Technology and Linfield College where students are directly enrolled at both institutions. Plus, the college has dual credit agreements with school districts to help area high school students attain college credit and make transitioning into higher education easier.

Climate-Friendly and Equitable Program Office Hours

DLCD continues to implement the Climate-Friendly and Equitable Program (CFEC) whose aim is "to reduce climate pollution, provide more transportation and housing choices, and promote equitable land use planning outcomes". As part of this effort, they have partnered with Oregon's Department of Transportation to host monthly 'office hours' to answer questions about the program.

The upcoming dates, times and links are provided below:

2024 State of the City

North Plains, Monday March 18 at 6pm, Jessie Mays Community Center

Sherwood, Wednesday, April 17, details TBD

Forest Grove and Cornelius, Monday, April 22 at 11 am, Forest Grove City Auditorium

Tualatin, Thursday May 2 from 7:30 - 9 am, Marquis Community Center

Tigard, Monday May 13 (no time listed), Broadway Rose Theatre

Events information will be added and updated as received.

Curious about Membership Benefits?

Contact [email protected] for more information.

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