2023 Portland Business Alliance Policy Agenda

2023 Portland Business Alliance Policy Agenda

Every year the Portland Business Alliance Board of Directors adopts an updated policy agenda. This member-led policy agenda guides our advocacy work for the year, and transparently keeps the community informed about what the Portland’s employer community is advancing to support our city.

The Portland Business Alliance board of directors voted and unanimously approved these policy priorities in early February. 

The Alliance board also adheres to a set of core policy values that are developed in partnership with members and external partners. Our core values serve as a guide to our advocacy work.  

For 2023, our guiding policy values are:

Make Portland affordable again
Portland has become too expensive. We now have the second highest income tax rate in the country. Clark County is now growing faster than the rest of the metro area combined. Local and state leaders must adopt policies that encourage housing development and new economic strategies so that businesses can thrive in this 21st century economy.  

Investing in a more resilient and equitable Downtown
Downtown Portland, the core of the State’s economy, is in crisis and urgent action is needed to return it to its previous status as one of the most attractive downtowns to live, work and play in the nation. Both public and private sector employees should be encouraged to work in person with their colleagues at least three days a week. We urge elected leaders to invest in basic services, housing development, and restore livability to build a more resilient economy for Portlanders.

Everyone deserves a place to call home
A record number of Portlanders are homeless and need outreach, mental health, addiction, transitional shelter, and housing services. We call on elected officials at all levels to urgently implement the new homeless services program and invest in short- and long-term solutions to bring an end to the humanitarian crises. The city must enforce the adopted urban camping policies to maintain and build community trust.  We urge the State, Metro, and County to provide critical funding and support to make the approved Temporary Alternative Shelter Sites a success. 

Make Portland safe for everyone
Portland witnessed record gun violence in 2022. Car thefts, break-ins and property crime have increased dramatically and negatively impacted retail businesses and residents across Portland. We urge the city and county to invest in building Portland’s police force and district attorney’s office by bringing staffing levels up to the national average for communities our size. We also need investments in 911, 311 and Portland Street Response. It is time for Portland to join every other large city in the nation and require body worn cameras for our police officers. Our communities deserve to feel safe again and we reject the false trade-off between having a larger police force and a better, more equitable police culture. Portlanders want and should have both. 

Working towards a better climate future
We recognize the critical challenges posed by the growing impacts of climate change. We support policies that promote collaboration with the private sector to innovate and invest in clean technologies that will accelerate reductions in carbon emissions and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Portland must take urgent steps to support industry led decarbonization strategies and establish a clean industry hub to thrive in the clean economy of the future.

Keep Portland moving
To stay competitive and build shared prosperity, our region must not let our transportation infrastructure fall further behind the rest of the country. We support data-driven policies at all levels of government that relieve congestion, reduce emissions, allow the efficient delivery of goods, and support historically underserved neighborhoods and communities.

  1. No new taxes and ddentify reforms to reduce the tax burden
  2. Restore a clean, safe and vibrant central city for employees, residents and visitors 
  3. Restore public safety
  4. Collaborate to make faster progress to end homelessness
  5. Adopt policies to urgently spur new housing development
  6. Support economic development strategies to grow and recruit innovative employers
  7. Fund Oregon’s share of the I-5 bridge replacement


Get involved by joining a policy committee today!

Central City Standing Committee

Central City Standing Committee

Consider public policy proposals related to downtown vibrancy, economic development and livability. Meets every 3rd Thursday of odd-numbered months (Jan, March, May, etc.). This committee informs our member-driven policy agenda. 

Chair: Graciela Cowger, Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt 
Staff: Jay Clark, Director, Government Affairs
Land Use and Housing Committee

Land Use and Housing Committee

Reviews public policy proposals related to a broad range of local and regional land use and development issues. Meets every 4th Wednesday of even-numbered months (Feb, April, June, August, etc.). This committee informs our member-driven policy agenda.

Chair: Allison Reynolds, Stoel Rives, LLP
Staff: Jay Clark, Director, Government Affairs
Small Business Council

Small Business Council

Serves as a forum for small business members to hear from and engage with government agencies regarding new programs and policies. Meets every 3rd Wednesday of even-numbered months (Feb, April, June, August, etc.). This committee informs our member-driven policy agenda. 

Chair: Diane Economaki, Fuze7 Marketing 
Staff: Jay Clark, Director, Government Affairs
Transportation & Economic Development Committee

Transportation & Economic Development Committee

Evaluate public policy proposals related to transportation topics including freight mobility, transit, infrastructure projects, policies and funding. Meets every 4th Tuesday of odd-numbered months (Jan, March, May, etc.). This committee informs our member-driven policy agenda. 

Staff: Jay Clark, Director, Government Affairs