September 13th, 2021
House & Senate Redistricting Committee
Re: Tigard Chamber Redistricting Comments about Congressional District 1
Dear Honorable Members of the House & Senate Redistricting Committee,
The Tigard Chamber of Commerce and its business members appreciate the efforts of the House & Senate Redistricting Committee. As a business community, we have advocated for and built a collaborative business culture that positively impacts the economic vitality of both for profit and non-profit Tigard businesses large and small as well as the community of Tigard in which those businesses reside. This ripples through our advocacy focus and is seen in areas of community and social need and support for things such as affordable and workforce housing, mental health programs, transportation initiatives, education, workforce development and more.
Further you can see our belief in community as a whole, as we run the Tigard Farmers Market and provide support for other community events such as the Downtown Tigard Street Fair and Trick or Treat Main Street. Our partnerships include the City of Tigard, homeless outreach organizations, mental health agencies, local non-profits, the Tigard Tualatin School District, the Tigard Police Department and more. We are a collective.
We are deeply concerned about current proposals before the Committee that, if approved, will fracture not only our business community’s shared economic, social welfare and common business interest but our community at large. Business and residential community are interdependent with one another for jobs, customers, suppliers and more.
For more than a decade, we have worked diligently with the City of Tigard, our business
community, our school district and other leaders to advocate for and support goals around transportation, housing, mental health resources, education, workforce and economic development. These all lay the groundwork for a desirable and prosperous future in the community that our businesses call home. Dividing our community into 3, 4 or 5 different districts will fracture what we have all worked so hard to achieve.
There are several major projects underway (Tigard Triangle Urban Renewal, the Southwest
Corridor Transit, transfer of orphan roads, infrastructure creation in River Terrace and more) that will need an advocate in Salem and Washington, DC who prioritizes our community’s unique interests on these complex issues.
Transportation infrastructure and purposeful planned growth are vital to the growth and vitality of business, commerce and our community.
We do not want the collective voice of both business and residents diluted or erased by illogical, arbitrary legislative boundaries. With a population of over 55,000, we are close to being the size of a single district; however, a Tigard-centered district could be made larger with the addition of smaller neighboring communities with similar interests, including Metzger, Bull Mountain, King City, Durham, or Multnomah County neighborhoods that border Tigard.
Dividing Tigard into three, four or five districts is unacceptable. Doing so would unfairly dilute the representation and collective voice of the Tigard business community and the community at large.
The treatment of Tigard in the House’s current map (Map C) is particularly concerning. It ignores Tigard as a community of interest by dividing us into five different house districts and disregarding our common interests, political and geographic boundaries, including Tigard’s municipal boundaries, the Tigard-Tualatin School District boundaries, and the Tualatin River.
Further it creates districts that contain more than one county. Redistricting any portion of
Tigard to representation outside Washington County will create difficulties. It puts Tigard in direct conflict with the needs and interests of another County’s priorities for transportation funding, Metro affordable housing dollars, Homeless Services funding and MSTIP funding. All these priorities and projects are all vital to the economic vitality of our business community, the jobs they create for our community and the cohesion of our community at large. It would effectively reduce our ability to compete for valuable assistance to meet the needs and desires of both Tigard businesses and community members.
Thank you for your consideration of these important issues that will deeply affect our city. We appreciate the Committee’s work to ensure all of Tigard remains in one district.
Debi Mollahan, CEO, Tigard Chamber of Commerce