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  • June 29, 2020 2:18 PM | Connie Shipley (Administrator)

    On Friday afternoon, the Oregon legislature concluded a 3-day special session to address various policy issues including policing reforms, COVID-response, and various other items which that included some bills that failed during the 2020 short session.

    With respect to policing reforms, the legislature passed bills to: (1) ban the use of chokeholds, except when the use of deadly force is justified; (2) restrict the use of tear gas, and require police to give people time to disperse before using it; (3) make it more difficult for third-party arbitrators to overturn or reduce disciplinary action taken against police officers; (4) create a public online database of disciplinary actions of police officers that must be checked as part of the hiring process; and (5) require officers to intervene to prevent or stop another officer engaged in misconduct.

    With respect to COVID response, the legislature passed bills to: (1) direct both residential and commercial lenders to defer mortgage payments until after September 30th (HB 4204); (2) extend the residential and commercial moratorium on no-cause evictions until September 30th (HB 4213); (3) grant temporary emergency shelter siting authority for local governments to develop low-barrier shelters for unsheltered homeless who are at high-risk of virus transmission; and (4) protect federal CARES Act payments from garnishments.

    Other bills included (1) HB 4210 which prevents a court from suspending a drivers license for failure to pay court fines; (2) SB 1601 which prevents citations from being issues for expired drivers licences, permits and registrations through December 31st; (3) SB 1603 which levies a cell phone tax to support projects for planning or developing broadband service infrastructure in Oregon; and (4) HB 4202 which makes clarifications and business- supported "fixes" to the new Corporate Activity Tax.

    In a development sought by the business community, a workgroup will be convened to discuss and craft liability exemptions for employers and organizations that are in compliance with the Governor's COVID-related executive orders and guidance.

    We are expecting legislative discussions to pivot toward liability issues and budget re-balancing in preparation of a 2nd special session to be held in late July or early August.

  • June 23, 2020 3:10 PM | Connie Shipley (Administrator)

    Tomorrow, the Oregon legislature will convene in a special session to address various policy issues including policing reforms, COVID-response, and a laundry list of other items which will include some bills that failed during the 2020 short session. 

    The list of ancillary bills under consideration changes by the hour - we do not yet have a clear sense of what all of those issues will be as discussions about the total slate of bills are happening out of public view.We do know, however, the core grouping of bills that will be considered. You can see them hereWe will reiterate that this special session is not focused on the state budget (which is currently $1.8 billion in deficit). There will be a follow-up special session later this summer that will include some painful budget decisions. It is likely that legislators will want to see if any additional revenue materializes - either through federal legislation or increased state revenues - before making those decisions.

    The special session tomorrow will pose unique challenges that threaten to derail it altogether. First, the logistics of the session - social distancing, a capitol building closed to the public, and limits on the number of people in closed spaces will test the limits of how the legislature can conduct its business in a timely way. Second, the politics of the session are challenging as there appears to be little agreement on which bills to pass coupled with an ever-expanding list of bills being sought by legislators. In short, there doesn't appear to be a plan.

    To follow the session, access this link: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2020S1/2020-06-24

  • June 17, 2020 3:52 PM | Connie Shipley (Administrator)

    OSCC calls on Oregon Legislature to add liability protections for businesses to Special Session agenda

    Governor Kate Brown officially called for a special session of the Oregon legislature on June 24th to deal with policy issues including policing reform, COVID response, and some consensus bills from the failed 2020 short session. However, liability protections for businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 is not currently listed as an agenda item. 

    Please contact your legislators by 5pm TODAY and ask them to add liability protections to businesses affected by COVID-19 to the Special Session agenda. You can use this link to find your legislator.

    OSCC joined with coalition partners on a letter to the legislature as well, which you can view here. Please use this as talking points. If you are you worried about coronavirus liability-despite the fact that your business has done its best to adhere to Governor Brown's public health guidelines, the Governor and legislators need to hear from you today! Tell your story to help inform this important policy decision. 


    Please contact your legislators by 5pm TODAY and ask them to add liability protections to businesses affected by COVID-19 to the Special Session agenda. You can use this link to find your legislator.

  • June 16, 2020 8:21 AM | Connie Shipley (Administrator)

    WHAT: Portland Parks & Recreation’s Free Lunch + Play program returns with expanded free meals at Portland parks, citywide. Free Lunch + Play provides crucial City services to Portlanders. This year in addition to free meals at lunchtime or during the early afternoon, take-home activities are being planned, such as art kits, activity packs, free books, and games.

    WHEN: Free Lunch + Play begins Monday June 22, 2020. The summertime end date is yet to be determined.

    WHERE: PP&R parks across the city. Programs may take place at lunchtime or in the early afternoon hours; schedules and locations are being updated and posted on PP&R’s Free Lunch + Play website.  Children do not need to be present in order to receive a meal.

    Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R)’s annual Free Lunch + Play program begins on Monday, June 22, 2020. This year’s program is part of an expanded effort by the City of Portland and area school districts to provide food security in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Special thanks to Title Sponsor NIKE, Inc., and to our private and philanthropic partners for their support. Free Lunch + Play gives kids a free, healthy meal at convenient park locations – plus several apartment complexes - with activities, games, and/or books for children to take home at each site. The food distribution program continues a Portland Parks & Recreation endeavor dating uninterrupted from the 1970’s. PP&R has prioritized our limited capacity and resources to this program to meet critical community needs.

    Meal service will be held at lunchtime or early afternoon at 26 sites all summer long; schedules are available at portlandoregon.gov/parks/freelunch. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, children do not need to be present in order to receive a meal as they did in years past. Special thanks to Mobile Lunch + Play Title Sponsor Bank of America for their $200,000 Neighborhood Builders grant which has greatly expanded the Mobile Lunch + Play portion of PP&R’s summer programming.

    “COVID-19 and widespread layoffs have made hunger one of our community’s most urgent needs this summer,” says Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. “Special thanks to NIKE, Inc., Bank of America, and our other partners who made it possible to expand our service during this time of higher need. As Mayor and Parks Commissioner, I’m proud that the Free Lunch + Play program is able to help keep thousands of young people nourished and healthy.”

    PP&R teams up with Portland Public Schools, the Parkrose and Reynolds School Districts, and partners to make this effort a success. Portland Parks & Recreation, Title Sponsors NIKE, Inc., Bank of America, and hunger relief partners play an important role in delivering critical community services this summer.

    57% of young Portlanders qualify for free or reduced-price lunch during the school year. Each summer, PP&R teams up with Portland Public Schools, the Parkrose and Reynolds School Districts, and food service partners to provide steady meals during the summer months. In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, PP&R and its partners expect to distribute nearly 500,000 free meals to Portland children this summer - nearly five times more than a typical season. The program will take place at parks in areas with a clear need for free and reduced lunch programs and areas where other free food providers are less accessible. Most of the sites are in east and north Portland.

    “This summer looks different than any other, with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 health crisis,” says PP&R Director Adena Long. “But Portland Parks & Recreation has been providing summertime food for nearly 50 years. We are continuing to help people be healthier, life to be more stable, and neighbors to make lifelong summer memories through this flagship program. Our thanks to all our City and non-profit partners who are helping deliver summertime fun, food, and memories.”

    If you’d like to donate to help the Free Lunch + Play program serve Portland’s children, please visit portlandoregon.gov/parks/lunch+play.

    Free Lunch + Play locations are:

    Alberta Park

    Columbia Park

    Cully Park

    Essex Park

    Gateway Discovery Park*

    Harrison Park

    Irving Park*

    Kenton Park

    Khhunamokwst Park

    Lents Park

    Luuwit View Park

    Montavilla Park*

    Mt. Scott Park

    Peninsula Park

    St. Johns Park

    Wilkes Park

    Schedules vary, and will be updated at portlandoregon.gov/parks/freelunch.

    All art kits, activity packs, free books, games, and activities are designed so participants can maintain 6 feet of physical distancing at all times. Children do not need to be present in order to receive a meal.

    Mobile Lunch + Play offers food and activities at apartment complexes which have no ready park access. Mobile Lunch + Play has doubled in size from 2019 to now as the recipient of a generous $200,000 Neighborhood Builders grant from Bank of America through the Portland Parks Foundation, PP&R’s nonprofit fundraising partner. Additionally, staff will also drive meals to distribute at several outer east Portland parks.

    “Bank of America has invested in the Portland Parks Foundation with a Neighborhood Builders grant to expand the delivery sites of Portland Parks and Recreation’s Summer Free For All Mobile Lunch + Play because, as a long-time partner, we have seen how critical this delivery model is to addressing hunger within our most vulnerable communities,” said Roger Hinshaw, Bank of America’s Market President in Oregon and Southwest Washington. “With the number of Mobile Lunch + Play sites serving our communities doubling this year, Summer Free For All Lunch + Play will have an even greater impact for youth who rely on this program for consistent and nutritious meals. We know food insecurity is on the rise, and we are committed to working together to do more to improve food security and economic mobility in our region.”

    Mobile Lunch + Play sites include:

    • Arbor Glen Apartments*
    • Bellrose Station Apartments*
    • East Holladay Park
    • Eastgate Station Apartments*
    • Gilbert Primary Park
    • Glenfair Park
    • Harney Park
    • Mill Park
    • Raymond Park*
    • Verdell Burdine Rutherford Park* (formerly Lynchview Park)

    Mobile Lunch + Play schedules vary, and will be updated at portlandoregon.gov/parks/freelunch. All art kits, activity packs, free books, games, and activities are designed so participants can maintain 6 feet of physical distancing at all times.

    *These locations will offer an option to drive up and receive meals curbside; people must exit vehicles for “grab and go” meals and activities at other locations.

    Free Lunch + Play guides are being printed and will be distributed in English and 14 other languages at partner and community sites citywide.

    Due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, everyone visiting a park and/or taking part in the Free Lunch + Play program must always adhere to physical distancing guidelines - staying at least 6 feet away from others when in a public space.

    Portland Parks & Recreation continues to be in communication with, and following the guidance of, the Oregon Health Authority, Multnomah County Health Department, and the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management regarding COVID-19. You can find more information on our webpage at www.portlandoregon/parks/covid-19.

  • June 15, 2020 1:32 PM | Connie Shipley (Administrator)

    RSVP for Our Upcoming Business Street Activation Program Q&A

    Learn more about PBOT's Healthy Business Permit program on 6/18 from 12-1pm.

    As Multnomah County nears Phase 1 reopening, businesses have new opportunities to do business safely in the the street. Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) has launched their ‘Healthy Business Permit’ program, allowing businesses to operate in the street free of permit costs. Businesses, as individuals or groups, can apply to use parking spots, portions of streets or entire streets to operate. Uses include outdoor dining, retail, personal services and more. This program gives businesses a unique opportunity to serve customers and build community in a safe way. Beautification opportunities, such as street paintings, are also available.

    PBOT will provide a brief overview of the program and businesses will have the opportunity to ask questions. Attendees can expect to be followed up with if answers are not  available at the time of the meeting.

    Register for the Street Activation Program Q&A with PBOT on 6/18

  • June 12, 2020 12:14 PM | Connie Shipley (Administrator)

    The last 3 months have challenged Oregon's local businesses. No one could have prepared for the COVID-19 crisis or the economic disaster that followed statewide public health orders. And today, many businesses-child care providers, restaurants, retailers, salon owners, and more-are grappling with whether it is even possible to reopen their doors following this crisis.
    For many businesses navigating this uncertainty, there is an even greater fear lurking around the corner: costly and opportunistic COVID-19 lawsuits.
    As businesses start to reopen, they are implementing safety measures in alignment with State public health guidelines and recommendations. Many employers are worried that even though they are following public health guidelines, an employee or customer will contract coronavirus and sue them, claiming that they got sick because of circumstances beyond the control of the business. Our local businesses shouldn't live in fear of opportunistic attorneys and crippling litigation during these uncertain times.
    Businesses need to know that if they take steps to implement guidance from state and federal public health officials, they will be protected from excessive lawsuits that will drain their cash reserves. One lawsuit or demand letter can cripple a business, regardless of the steps taken to protect employee and customer health under state-issued public health guidance.
    Oregon lawmakers must act now to protect local businesses from litigation abuse! Plaintiffs' attorneys and lawsuit lending companies are preparing for an onslaught of coronavirus suits. Temporary and targeted liability protections are necessary to allow businesses to reopen safely and with the confidence that they aren't reopening simply to risk everything.
    Temporary and targeted liability protections are not a partisan issue. States with democrat and republican governors have signed legislation to prevent excessive litigation from burying employers who have acted in good faith and in accordance with state and federal guidelines in this crisis. The time for Oregon to act is now!
    Are you worried about coronavirus liability-despite the fact that your business has done its best to adhere to Governor Brown's public health guidelines? If so, the Governor and legislators need to hear from you today! Tell your story to help inform this important policy decision. 

     Send your message to the Governor
    and legislators today

    Download the template letter to send from your Chamber

  • May 26, 2020 2:17 PM | Connie Shipley (Administrator)

    COVID-19 Reopening Listening Sessions with Prosper Portland

    The City of Portland and Prosper Portland, in partnership with Venture Portland and the Portland Independent Restaurant Alliance, are hosting listening sessions to hear from businesses in the restaurant and personal services industries, and how the city can support as we look towards reopening. This is a part of a series of industry and culturally specific listening sessions open to the public. This session is intended for business owners in the restaurant and personal services industries. If these sessions are fully registered, a video will be made available when the session concludes.

    Register for the Restaurant Industry Listening Session on 6/1 from 9-10:30am

    Register for the Personal Services Industry Listening Session on 6/9 from 12-1:30pm

    COVID-19 Reopening Q&A for Retailers with Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury

    Retailers! Do you have questions about the reopening your store during COVID-19? Trying to figure out how you should set up your store? Unsure of how to balance personal safety and financial necessity?

    Join us Thursday, 5/28 from 1-2pm when our special guests Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, The Department of Health and retail business owners answer your questions about what’s going on, when it’s happening, what the hold ups are and how to get back to business. Share your questions or concerns with County officials and catch up on how your peers are planning to get back into stores and restoring revenue streams.

    Register for the Retailer Q&A on 5/28 from 1-2pm

  • May 18, 2020 11:38 AM | Connie Shipley (Administrator)

    We are living in unprecedented times. Businesses across the country have been shuttered due to the COVID-19 health crisis in an effort to curb the impact of the virus. As employers begin to look at reopening, many are worried that an employee or customer will contract the disease and sue, claiming that they got sick because the business could have done something more to protect the person, despite following the public health guidelines for reopening. This is already happening.

    Employers need assurance that there will be safe harbors in place to protect them from opportunistic lawsuits. Businesses who follow the guidelines issued by public health authorities should be able to safely provide their goods and services without the fear of crippling liability.

    There is no playbook for reopening. Business owners are already facing many challenges in this uncertain economic environment. We need timely, targeted and temporary liability protections to shield employers from legal risk when following the appropriate public health guidelines to protect employees and customers.

    Please tell Congress that liability protections are needed to shield employers from litigation abuse.


  • May 13, 2020 2:35 PM | Connie Shipley (Administrator)

    Reopening Guidance for Phase I

    Many counties across Oregon are preparing to enter into Phase I of reopening. 

    See list of counties who have applied to enter Phase I. 

    Guidance that applies statewide, immediately:

         The Public

         Outdoor Recreation

    Guidance that applies statewide starting May 15, 2020:


         Retail Stores

    Guidance that only applies to counties that enter Phase I:

         Restaurants & Bars

         Personal Services


         Gyms (guidance

    Forthcoming guidance that will apply statewide:

    • Childcare
    • Summer school / camps / youth activities
    • Transit

    For more detailed information and industry guidelines, check out this link:


  • May 07, 2020 5:33 PM | Connie Shipley (Administrator)

    In a press briefing earlier today, Governor Kate Brown announced additional details for the Phase I reopening of Oregon. 

    The Governor will begin accepting applications for reopening counties on May 8th. Counties must meet certain criteria to reopen, including:

    1. Declining COVID-19 prevalence 

    2. Minimum Testing Regimen 

    3. Contact Tracing System 

    4. Isolation Facilities 

    5. Finalize Statewide Sector Guidelines 

    6. Sufficient Healthcare Capacity 

    7. Sufficient PPE Supply

    Should counties meet the prerequisites, they can enter into Phase I reopening on May 15th.  After 21 days in Phase I, counties continuing to meet the prerequisites may be able to enter Phase II. 

    Details on Restarting Oregon Public Life and Business

    Watch full press conference

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