2015-2016 was a productive year in Salem for the Bend Chamber. Our efforts, through the Bend Chamber Legislative Committee, assisted members in having their voices heard by state legislators throughout Oregon, which has allowed our membership to truly make a difference.
Senator Tim Knopp and Representatives Gene Whisnant, Knute Buehler and Mike McLane said letters and testimony from the Bend Chamber and our members made an impact on business-related issues at the State Capitol.
But we have taken it even further by strengthening our advocacy program.
Working with the city, county and state as well as our other local districts and agencies, can be a time-consuming challenge, especially for business owners who are often “busy working his or her business”. Thus, the Bend Chamber Advocacy Council was formed with a group of 10 diverse leaders to help manage all of our efforts and serve as representation of the membership.
The mission of the Advocacy Council is twofold:
- Identify, evaluate and recommend positions to the Bend Chamber Board of Directors on issues and opportunities which may impact the health of the business community and the economic stability of Bend.
- Promote community awareness and engagement on issues impacting our community through What’s Brewing? community forums and other resources available through the organization.
The following items fall under this council’s umbrella of responsibility:
- Review and recommend on all government advocacy issues at the local, state and federal levels
- Review and recommend on all state legislative action
- Review and recommend on member and non-member requests for support
- Advisory on What’s Brewing? Community Forum topic development
- Manage elected official’s voting record
- Form ad hoc committees and assign liaisons to task forces / committees as needed (e.g., Legislative Committee)
Here is just a sample of what the Bend Chamber is doing for you while you’re busy working your business:
- Weighing in on ordinances which could impact businesses, including updating the Sign Code Ordinance so it’s more business friendly, climate action, 90-Day No Cause evictions, etc.
- Researched and supported businesses who had taken on new “special event” permit fees and policy
- Supported ODOT, Region 4 Federal Stimulus Project for the Highway 372 Pavement Preservation Project because of its economic value to the community.
- Supported hydropower portion of the City of Bend Surface Water Project.
- Supported GO Bond Measure while raising concerns for the community’s future infrastructure.
- Brought forward concerns on legislation in Salem relating to land use policies, employment, employer’s rights, and unnecessary fees for businesses and consumers to state representatives.
- Instrumental in the development of the Bend Business Advocate position.
- Spearheaded city permitting fee reductions for small business relocation within Bend.
- Manage local elected-official voting record
- Brought need for process on the fuel tax to the forefront
Current key local opportunities and issue areas being tracked by the Advocacy Council
City of Bend Operations, City Council, General Fund, Taxes & Fees, Infrastructure, Community & Economic Development including:
- Street Maintenance Funding
- Affordable & Workforce Housing
- Parking Study Task Force
- Westside Vision Project update
- Voting record
- Transient Room Taxes (TRT)
- Impediments to business expansion
- Industrial and employment land (e.g., rezoning, jobs)
Schools – public
K-12, COCC, OSU-Cascades
- Public Transportation
- Skilled labor and workforce needs and solutions
- Deschutes County (as needed)
- Parks & Rec (as needed)
- Irrigation and water resources (as needed)
- Local elections and voter turnout
- Mirror Pond, governance model, highways, hospitals, fairgrounds, airports, water, homelessness
Below are a few of the positions the Bend Chamber has taken legislatively:
- Low Carbon Fuel-Standard [pdf]
- Paid Sick Leave [pdf]
- Mt. Bachelor Project DEIS Comments [pdf]
- Death Tax Initiative [pdf]
- Support of Air Service Development Program [pdf]
- COVA – Visit Bend Consolidation [pdf]
- US 97 Corridor Project [pdf]
- Transportation SDC Consultant Contract [pdf]
- ODOT2009 Proposal [pdf]
- LT2 Ruling [pdf]
- Ironman Bid [pdf]
- Hydropower [pdf]
- HB 4093 Support Letter [pdf]
- Draft EIS [pdf]
- SB 1544 Support Letter [pdf]
- HB 4067 Support Letter [pdf]
- Chamber Position on US 97 Corridor [pdf]
- Bend Chamber Supports SB 1532 [pdf]
- Bend Chamber Supports SB 1558 [pdf]
BEND CHAMBER ADVOCACY COUNCIL
Jeff Robberson* – Chair Robberson Ford Lincoln Mazda
- Ken Katzaroff* – Co-Chair Three Rivers Advisors
- Rob Moore Arbor Mortgage
- Scott Ramsay* Sun Mountain Fun Center
- Gary Kronmiller* Retired Jones & Roth
- Kerri Standerwick Compass Commercial Real Estate
- Lisa Goodman* St. Charles Health Systems
- Katie Anderson* Aperion Management Group LLC
- Jamie Christman Bend Chamber firstname.lastname@example.org
- Katy Brooks Bend Chamber email@example.com
(* = Also on Legislative Committee)
Legislative Committee 2017*
- Scott Wallace The Wallace Group
- Rachael van den Berg Elevate Sport Horses
- Karna Gustafson C.O. Builders Assoc.
- Garrett Chrostek Bryant, Lovlien & Jarvis, PC
- Sandy Stephenson Bend Chamber firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jamie Christman Bend Chamber email@example.com,
- Katy Brooks Bend Chamber firstname.lastname@example.org
LIAISONS AND REPRESENTATIVES FOR THE BEND CHAMBER
- Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, City of Bend, Kerri Standerwick,
- Bend Economic Development Advisory Board (BEDAB) Advocacy Sub-Committee, Scott Ramsay
- Storm Water Advisory Committee, City of Bend, Katie Anderson
- Central Oregon Business Plan (COBP), Ken Katzaroff
- Bend Planning Commission
- Bend Budget Committee
- East Cascades Workforce Investment Board (ECWIB), Kyle Frick
- OSU-Cascades Community Outreach Task Force, Jamie Christman
- BEDAB, Jamie Christman (ex officio)
- EDCO, Jamie Christman (ex officio)
- Opportunity Knocks, Jamie Christman
- C.O. Direct Marketing Organizations (DMO’s), Sandy Stephenson
- C.O. Intergovernmental Council (COIC), Katy Brooks
- Looking Forward, Katy Brooks