The Government Affairs Committee of the East Portland Chamber of Commerce is led by Deborah Higa, Chairperson, with committee members representing small, medium and large sized businesses.
The committee is a vital link between East Portland businesses and the local, state and federal elected officials…and governmental agencies…who make the taxation, regulatory and policy decisions that affect the business community. The committee assures that chamber members are heard…that they have a forum and a voice to make their views known to their government representatives.
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Important Upcoming Events:
Our weekly AM meetings are on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at Adventist Medical Center from 7:30-9:00am. This is the meeting to attend if you need to have an issue addressed, or want to talk to any of the committee members.
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More on EPCC Goverment Affairs Committee:
The primary goal for the Government Affairs Committee shall be to help foster a mutual and beneficial relationship between Government Policy Makers and members of the Chamber. To that end, special programs will be organized and promoted that will assist facilitating the exchange of information relating to issues or matters of mutual interest and benefit.
The Government Affairs Committee’s action statement is to: Present programs to the East Portland Chamber that informs, educates and involves its members in government, community, district or state issues that may impact the business community.
In the past year the Government Affairs Committee has been a strong and effective advocate for East Portland Chamber members by helping to win approval by the Portland City Council for a Small Business Bill of Rights, which requires the City to consider the interests of business in its regulatory, tax, and policy deliberations. The Committee also played an important role in persuading the City to revise its business license system, to promote tax fairness for owners of small businesses.
Other important services provided to Chamber members by the Government Affairs Committee include;
- Hosting the Chamber networking meeting once a month and providing a speaker on a timely government affairs issue. Chamber members attending these AM meetings, the third Wednesday of each month, have an opportunity to meet at ask questions of elected officials, heads of government agencies and other policy-makers.
- Sponsoring candidate forums to assure that Chamber members get to know the people seeking election to public office, and that they can let candidates know the issues that are important to business people on Portland’s Eastside.
- Educating Chamber members on upcoming issues and policies, especially as they will impact East Portland, so that business people know ahead of time what is being planned and can communicate their concerns and desires early enough to influence governmental decisions before they are made or implemented.
Recognizing that most business people do not have the time or resources to become experts in the many governmental issues that may affect them, the Chamber Government Affairs Committee has identified key governmental advisory committees on which to have representation — a pair of “eyes and ears” — to let Chamber members know what is being planned, and how to provide feedback before those issues are translated into government policies and actions. The Chamber has direct representation on the:
- Small Business Advisory Council
- City of Portland Bureau of Transportation’s Budget Advisory Committee
- City of Portland Mayor’s Economic Cabinet
Additionally, members of the East Portland Chamber sit on the boards of various neighborhood business associations, business advisory groups, trade associations, community organizations and local charities.
Given the uncertainty and challenges of the current economic climate, the Government Affairs Committee is focusing on two key goals in 2009:
- Jobs. The East Portland Chamber must work relentlessly with our federal, state and city political leaders to assure that East Portland receives its fair share of governmental stimulus programs designed to maintain and create jobs.
- Infrastructure: The East Portland Chamber must be a vocal advocate for a greater and more equitable share of the City’s infrastructure investment in Portland’s Eastside in the City budget now being formulated for 2010.
The Government Affairs Committee’s work on behalf of East Portland Chamber members and the Eastside business community is an ongoing effort. To be successful, the Chamber’s government affairs program requires that:
- Chamber members attend in the monthly forums,
- Educate themselves about the issues,
- And provide feedback to the Government Affairs Committee, so the Committee can advocate for the Chamber and its members.
Friends and Allies:
The East Portland Chamber Government Affairs Committee welcomes feedback and support from other business groups, organizations and individuals who share similar goals and interests with the Chamber — and a common commitment to the betterment of East Portland.