Category Archives: Advocacy with Government

Outdoor Mask Requirements begin August 27th – Be Safe

 

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With COVID-19 rapidly spreading, masks help stop spread of the Delta variant
Salem, OR—Governor Kate Brown today announced new statewide outdoor mask requirements to help stop the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant. Effective Friday, August 27, masks will be required in most public outdoor settings, including large outdoor events, where physical distancing is not possible, and regardless of vaccination status. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) also strongly recommends masking for outdoor gatherings at private residences when individuals from different households do not consistently maintain physical distance.

“The Delta variant is spreading fast and wide, throwing our state into a level of crisis we have not yet seen in the pandemic. Cases and hospitalizations are at a record high,” said Governor Brown. “Masks are a quick and simple tool we can immediately deploy to protect ourselves and our families, and quickly help stop further spread of COVID-19.

“The Delta variant is much more contagious than previous variants we’ve seen, and it has dramatically increased the amount of virus in our communities. Masks have proven to be effective at bringing case counts down, and are a necessary measure right now, even in some outdoor settings, to help fight COVID and protect one another.”

Under the Governor’s direction, the OHA rule will require masks for all individuals — regardless of vaccination status — in outdoor settings in which individuals from different households are unable to consistently maintain physical distance. The rule does not apply to fleeting encounters, such as two individuals walking by one another on a trail or in a park. While the rule does not apply to outdoor gatherings at private residences, masks are strongly recommended in those settings when individuals from different households do not consistently maintain physical distance.

“It is much easier for people with the Delta variant, compared to people who were sick last year, to infect others around them,” said State Health Officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger. “This is because they have one thousand times more virus in their nose – which means that those around them are much more likely to get sick because this variant behaves so differently. We are starting to see instances where cases are clustering around events, like outdoor music festivals, that happen outdoors. Wearing masks in crowded settings – even outdoors – will help slow the spread of COVID-19.”

The rule aligns with the exceptions outlined in the recent statewide indoor mask requirements, and does not apply to:
• Children under 5 years old;
• Individuals who are actively eating, drinking, or sleeping — as well as individuals living outdoors, such as persons experiencing houselessness;
• Persons playing or practicing competitive sports, or engaged in an activity in which it is not feasible to wear a mask — such as swimming;
• Individuals delivering a speech or performing — such as with outdoor music or theater;
• Mask requirements for day-to-day operations at K-12 schools are not governed by this rule, and will instead continue to fall under the school mask rule. Outside public events, spectator events, and gatherings of the general public on K-12 school grounds will be subject to the rule. Child care and youth programs will continue to follow existing OHA mask guidance; and
• In addition, entities subject to the ADA must continue to comply with that law.

The OHA rule will go into effect this Friday, August 27, however Oregonians are strongly encouraged to immediately start wearing masks outdoors, as outlined above.

Governor Brown continued, “The combination of vaccines and masks is the most powerful way we can fight this latest surge of COVID-19 and save lives. Vaccination continues to be the best way you can protect yourself and your family from the Delta variant, and the most effective way we can help our exhausted nurses and doctors, who are working around the clock to treat Oregonians sick with COVID in our ICUs — the majority of which are unvaccinated individuals. With the full FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine this week, we have additional reassurance that the vaccines are safe and effective.”

Additional Materials:

A video message from Governor Brown is available here.

Governor Kate Brown Announces Statewide Indoor Mask Requirements

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8/11/21 – Salem, OR

Governor Kate Brown held a press conference today to provide an update on the status of COVID-19 in Oregon and to announce new statewide indoor mask requirements. To help stop the highly contagious Delta variant from spreading further, masks will be required in all indoor public settings, effective Friday, August 13. The Governor was joined by Patrick Allen, Director of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), and Dr. Dean Sidelinger, State Epidemiologist.

“Because of the Delta variant, yesterday we had over 2,300 COVID-19 cases reported––the highest number since the virus first landed in Oregon—and hospitalizations are also at a record high,” said Governor Brown. “New modeling from OHA and Oregon Health & Science University project that, without new safety interventions, COVID-19 hospitalizations will completely overwhelm our doctors and nurses in the coming weeks. When hospitals run out of beds, we are all at risk.

“We continue to work to reach Oregonians with information and a vaccine, but it’s clear the current situation requires immediate action to stop the Delta variant from spreading further. That’s why, moving forward for the immediate future, masks will be required in all indoor public settings.

“The latest science is clear that both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals are able to spread the Delta variant. Masks are simple, and they are effective. Wearing a mask should give you confidence that you are not infecting others, and they are also our best bet at keeping our schools and our businesses open.”

The Governor also reminded Oregonians to treat forecast high temperatures seriously. She urged Oregonians without air conditioning to make a plan now to find a cooling center in their area by connecting with 211. She is also encouraging Oregonians to sign up to receive emergency notifications by visiting ORAlert.gov. And with high temperatures intensifying wildfire conditions, she is urging everyone to do their part to prevent fires at a time when most of the state is under extreme fire danger.

Heat-Related Resources

• Cooling Centers (211)
• Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses
• Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness…

Additional Materials from Today’s Press Conference

• Oregon Indoor Mask Requirement Fact Sheet
• A recording of today’s press conference — with an American Sign Language simulcast — is available on YouTube. Please note the video starts at the 11:55 mark.
• An HD recording of today’s press conference for members of the media is available on Vimeo.
• A copy of the Governor’s prepared remarks is available here.

Call for Survival – Live Events Business Grant Program Ask

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May 19, 2021

Joint Committee on Ways & Means

 Oregon State Capitol

900 Court Street NE Salem, OR 97301

Senator Johnson, Senator Steiner Hayward, Representative Rayfield and Committee  members,

On behalf of the Tigard Chamber of Commerce and our members through the south metro region, thank you for the opportunity to submit a letter of support for the Shuttered Events Business grant proposal.

Following the leadership of the Live Events Industry of Oregon (LEIO), we are fully supportive of their proposal to appropriate American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to create a grant program to aid struggling event businesses. While we are appreciative of the federal Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program, a large segment of the industry was unable to take advantage of the program due to the requirement for a physical venue space.   We only found 1 member in our almost 300 member businesses that met the qualifications of that targeted program even though we have many members with venues or that are businesses that generate a significant portion of their business from live events.

We learned first-hand the far reaching impact of the pandemic on the Live Events Industry when LEIO participated as a sector panelist during our State of Business Forum in March 2021.  The economic devastation to this sector is unparalleled. They have been and continue to be the slowest sector to recover due to our restrictive limitations on gatherings and events.  The metro area has been particularly hard hit given our population density and risk classifications. As just one example, we have caterers that have seen a 90% reduction in business during the pandemic! 

The south metro region of which Tigard is a part, hosts numerous events and attractions for both community and visitors alike.  Examples include the Tigard Festival of Balloons, the Downtown Tigard Street Fair, local city Community Awards Galas or Galas/Events held by our non-profits or attractions like iFly.  Not only are the events this industry produces a vital part of what makes our community unique, but they provide significant downstream economic benefits from sub-contractors and vendors as well as the associated spending.

Thus we support the proposal offered by Representatives Nosse and Lively to create a one- time grant program that can benefit the entire event industry.

The proposal laid out by LEIO is well thought out and prepared to maximize the investment for all sectors of the event industry. In a snapshot it includes:

  • Well-defined eligible businesses, including General Events Industry Business Sectors such as Event Planning and Production, Audio-Visual, Lighting, and Staging Providers, Special Event Operators, and Amateur Sporting Event Operators among others. The list of eligible business would also include vertical market events such as concerts, sporting events, theatre, art and music events etc.
  • Focus on small business with a cap of 150 employees or less
  • Rolling application periods to support the hardest hit businesses, including priority access for entities with a 75% or larger drop in revenue from prior year; followed by 50% drop in revenue and so on.
  • Specific allowable uses for grant funding, such as payroll costs, rent or other commercial building expenses, utilities, ordinary operating costs, existing business asset loan payments, and PPE.

The proposal is for an allocation of one-time ARPA funds of $108M in order to provide the broad reaching support to these struggling small business and sole proprietors across our state. While this is a significant amount of funding, the one-time nature of a grant program is exactly what these federal funds are intended to accomplish.

We appreciate your consideration of this important request for our community, and understand that this request is just one among many you will receive.  Thank you for the opportunity to highlight this key need in our community and for this sector.

Best Regards,

Debi Mollahan CEO

Tigard Chamber of Commerce

Vote YES for a Thriving Downtown Tigard Community

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The Tigard Chamber endorses Measure 34-305 and supports a YES vote.

Measure #34-305 City Center Urban Renewal Plan Amendment

The Question:
Shall the City amend the City Center Urban Renewal Plan, including increasing the amount of maximum indebtedness?

  • If the measure passes, it would increase the total amount of money that could be collected (maximum indebtedness) by $20.8 million and the length of time (duration) of the Urban Renewal Plan by nine years. 
  • If the measure does not pass, the total amount of money that can be collected would not be increased, and the duration of the Urban Renewal Plan would not be extended. 

The Tigard Chamber of Commerce endorses/supports Measure 34-305 as we see the benefit to both our business community as well as the community at large.  More investment into our city center in the form of trails, affordable housing, parking, public space, mixed use and streets all combine to increase our downtown vibrancy, attract business investment and make it a place where community gathers and businesses thrive.  Business and community are interdependent and this measure benefits both sides of the equation. 

We recommend a yes vote on this measure as it does not increase taxes, merely extends for period of time for the Urban Renewal Area and funds much needed infrastructure and will benefit both business and community alike!

You can learn more about this measure in this informative recorded presentation/panel we did with the City of Tigard that explains what urban renewal is, how it is funded, and what types of projects this amendment to the plan would fund. 

Thank you for reading and please vote!

Tigard-Tualatin School Board Candidate Endorsements Announced

April 20th, 2021 – For Immediate Release

Contact Information:

Debi Mollahan

 

Ethan Frelly

 

CEO

Board Chair

 

503-639-1656

(503) 502-3330

 

Debi@TigardChamber.org

Ethan@beltranproperties.com

 

(Tigard, Oregon) – The Candidate Endorsement Committee (CEC) of the Tigard Chamber of Commerce, has determined its list of endorsements for the upcoming Tigard-Tualatin School District (TTSD) School Board race coming up in the May 18th, 2021 election. The Committee consisting of local business owners, community leaders, and members of the Chamber Board of Directors came together to go through a non-partisan process to consider candidates for endorsement who align with the Chambers’ core values/mission, legislative agenda and who support workforce development/education that strengthens the business community and our employment base.

“This is an unprecedented time for those running for public office” said Debi Mollahan, CEO of the Tigard Chamber. “These decisions, while never easy, need to be made in order to move forward in the best direction for Tigard-Tualatin School District and our business community. We looked for candidates who understood the role of the school board in terms of both the staff and student community as well as the intersection with the business community as educators of our future employees”.

The Candidate Endorsement Committee for the Tigard Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce their unanimous endorsement of the following candidates for the 2021 General Election being held May 18th, 2021.

TTSD School Board Seat 3

Octavio
 

Octavio Gonzalez has been engaged with TTSD for at various levels including school committees and most recently as a member of the TTSD Budget Committee.  He has a passion for making sure the student voice/the customer informs what programs are needed within TTSD and that they are inclusive and meet the needs of all students.

 With his background in both banking and HOA Account Management, Octavio has first hand experience with how work experience and the trades can provide high quality employment for students who would not benefit from or select a 4 year college path.  The business community needs a wide variety of skills in their workforce and the trades is a growing, lucrative field. Not all students are college bound and need education and experiences to help them chart a meaningful path towards a career.

Octavio has a passion for ensuring programs within TTSD meet all students needs as well as creative ideas for how business and the district can collaborate to enhance student skills to increase employability including plugging into the work already being done between the district and Tigard and Tualatin Chambers under the #WorkReady umbrella.   We find Octavio not only to be a great fit to meet the districts’ goals, but also to amplify the role and benefit of business within the district.

TTSD School Board Seat 5 

marvin lynn

Marvin Lynn has been an educator for over 30 years, starting as an elementary school and then middle school teacher, moving into post-secondary education roles as both a professor and an administrator.  Because of this experience he has a deep understanding of curriculum, teaching, and educational policy and has successfully managed budgets. In addition he has served in a variety of other board and leadership positions.  His experience in both equity and diversity are also extensive.   All of these are important skills for the key responsibilities of a TTSD board member and to meet district goals. 

Marvin believes that all students regardless of background, skill set or interests need to have their educational needs met through the school district whether college bound or moving in a direction of career ready when exiting the district.  He sees that business can play a role in the opportunity for advanced learning and experience for students through business internships, career days/fairs and exposure to more technical training and career experiences.  We find Marvin extremely well qualified for this board seat.

“We greatly appreciate all of the candidates that took the time to go through our confidential in-depth questionnaire and took time out of their busy schedules for our in-person interviews” said Ethan Frelly,  Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. The Committee and Chamber agree that voters need to do their due diligence and cast their votes in May.

 

About the Tigard Chamber of Commerce

Mission – Building & Connecting Businesses, Growing Leaders and Shaping Our Community

Vision – Business + Community = Prosperity, Vibrancy & Diversity