The Portland Business Alliance is engaged in the issues and races that impact the Portland region. At the state level, the Alliance works with other business associations to advocate for business issues in Salem. The Alliance weighs in on local, regional and state elections as well as ballot measures by making endorsements. The Alliance also has a Political Action Committee that may make contributions to candidates and ballot measure campaigns after being endorsed by the Alliance board of directors.
The Alliance’s top priority for the 2017 legislative session is addressing the state budget deficit. However, there are many other issues in the legislature impacting business that the Alliance is monitoring or actively engaged in, including transportation funding, workplace related bills, education funding for both CTE/STEM and higher education, industrial lands, and housing affordability.
The Alliance has provided support for bills that would allow limited expansion of the urban growth boundary outside the normal review process to meet housing needs, as well as a bill to assist with industrial site readiness. In addition, the Alliance is partnering with other statewide business organizations to provide employer views on several proposals related to workplace rules, including pay equity, paid family leave and predictive scheduling.
The Alliance is also working to oppose lifting the state preemption on rent control, which could make addressing the root cause of the housing challenge – inadequate supply – more difficult. Finally, the legislature continues to work on elements of a transportation package; the Alliance has long advocated for additional multimodal transportation funding and will advocate for investments that support the efficient movement of goods and people.
As businesses committed to moving Oregon forward together, the Portland Business Alliance and Oregon Business Council are troubled by the breadth of President Trump’s executive order restricting immigration and re-entry into the United States of citizens of certain countries. Diversity makes us stronger and more competitive in the global economy, and we recognize that our nation is built on the hard work and talent of generations of people born throughout the world.
The Alliance and Oregon Business Council encourage elected leaders to thoughtfully balance the nation’s security interest with our rich tradition of being a beacon of opportunity to people regardless of nationality or religion.
With the start of 2017, there are new elected leaders in key positions in jurisdictions in which the Alliance frequently works. Ted Wheeler was sworn in as Portland’s new mayor on Jan. 3, and Chloe Eudaly took the commission seat previously held by Steve Novick. At Multnomah County, three new commissioners were sworn in, including Sharon Meieran, Jessica Vega Pederson and Lori Stegmann. Clackamas County has a new commission chair in Jim Bernard. Additionally, Steve Callaway was sworn in as the new mayor of the city of Hillsboro. The Alliance will continue to work closely with these jurisdictions and looks forward to building strong relationships with new elected leaders.
Each year, the Portland Business Alliance organizes a trip to Washington, D.C., in partnership with the Oregon Business Plan, for member business leaders to meet with the Oregon and SW Washington congressional delegations, as well as representatives of the administration. Participants include representatives from Oregon's major business groups, including the Portland Business Alliance, the Oregon Business Council, Associated Oregon Industries and the Oregon Business Association. Participants discuss federal implications of the priority issues identified in the Oregon Business Plan, as well as the other issues impacting Oregon and the Portland-metro region.
Interested in participating in an upcoming trip? Contact Alliance Government Affairs Manager Raihana Ansary.
The Portland Business Alliance board of director’s makes endorsements each year. These endorsements are based on a process that includes candidate interviews conducted by its endorsement committee and a review of the candidates’ responses to its Value of Jobs questionnaire, followed by a vote by the full board. Two-thirds of the board members present must agree before an endorsement is made.
Read the Alliance’s most recent endorsement news.